At the age of 20, after a traumatic sexual assault trial, Kathryn Heyman ran away from her life and became a deckhand on a fishing trawler in the Timor Sea. Coming from a family of poverty and violence, she had no real role models, no example of how to create or live a decent life, how to have hope or expectations. But she was a reader. She understood story, and the power of words to name the world. This was to become her salvation. After one wild season onboard the Ocean Thief, the only girl among tough working men, facing storms, treachery and harder physical labour than she had ever known, Heyman was transformed. Finally, she could name the abuses she thought had broken her. After a period of enforced separation from the world, she was able to return to it newly formed, determined to remake the role she’d been born into.