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Before entering graduate school, Deesha Harris informs her successful and sea-loving parents that she and her fiancé, Tomas Barton, are determined to take a year off and see the world--from the deck of a sailboat.  Despite their reservations, and their warnings about Somali pirates, Deesha's parents reluctantly consent to the adventure, but only on two conditions.  To make the journey, Deesha and Tomas must use her parents' fully equipped, forty-five foot sailboat, the Golden Buccaneer.  And they must also arm the boat with at least two handguns.  With these two conditions satisfied, Deesha and Tomas leave their home port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, sail to Brazil, and then across the Atlantic to Cape Town, South Africa.

This first step in their adventure is both enjoyable and uneventful.  Unfortunately, uneventful journeys sometimes lead to complacency.  In this case, complacency leads Deesha and Tomas to let down their guard one night.  It is a mistake that ultimately ends Tomas' life and sends Deesha on a perilous new journey.

This journey quickly turns into a nightmare.  It is a nightmare that includes a kidnapping by Somali pirates, confinement in a primitive jail, beatings that lead to rape, and, finally, escape.

Freedom, however, has its own perils.  Totally alone now, Deesha must find her way through the steamy jungles and the tortuous mangrove swamps of Somalia's east coast.  Poisonous snakes, hordes of mosquitoes, vicious dogs, and a knife-wielding, revenge-filled man named Jonju turns Deesha's journey-of-a-lifetime into a frantic battle for survival.

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