Three Women and a Boat by Anne Youngson

Published: 2020 1. First lines. 2. Cover: Penguin 3. Canal boat [Public Domain] via Maxpixel 4. Map from inside the book.

Eve Warburton has been sacked from her job, and Sally Allsop has left her marriage. Both women are fifty-ish and have no idea what they will do next. By chance they meet on a towpath near a moored narrowboat, where they encounter its owner Anastasia. On a whim, Anastasia asks Eve and Sally to navigate the boat up the canals to a boatyard in Chester while she goes into hospital. They agree, and start their journey, using the time to think about the next phase of their lives.

“I’ve been temporarily living on a narrowboat for fifteen years.”

BOOK SNAPS: “The story unfolds gradually, matching the unhurried pace of the narrowboat journey, the writing style bringing the boating experience vividly to life. It’s a gentle story with few ups and downs, so it can be a bit flat, but the big life-changing decisions faced by the main characters give the story some depth.”

  • Kirkus Reviews: ”Like a canal, lovely but shallow.”
  • Publishers Weekly: ”Youngson’s meditative story satisfies with its take on the joys of new friendship and the happiness that can be found in the mundane.”


“Eve turned sideways and looked at Sally. ‘Are you seriously thinking about doing this?’ she asked.”

So here they were, en route, with a bend ahead and the sun shining, the rumble of the engine beneath their feet and the breeze created by their passage ruffling the surface of the coffee in their mugs.”

Author: Anne Youngson at Greene Heaton UK.

Also published by Macmillan as ”The Narrowboat Summer”


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