A PEARL IN THE STORM by Tori Murden McClure

In this inspiring memoir, McClure doesn’t focus on her 2nd, successful attempt to become the first woman to row across the Atlantic. Instead she hones in on her first attempt, sharing how she came to terms with her own vulnerability — a different kind of strength altogether. Read our review here.


A Pearl in the Storm is the true story of Tori Murden McClure, the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. McClure’s memoir, subtitled, “How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean,” is more than a woman-against-the-elements adventure tale; it is, in the words of actress Candice Bergen, “a story of courage, adventure, and personal discovery that will appeal to women and men of all ages.” Beautiful, breathtaking, moving, and inspiring, A Pearl in the Storm will appeal to the millions of readers who made Eat, Pray, Love a resounding success.


Unlike Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, Tori Murden McClure’s true story of a woman and the sea and a boat named American Pearl is one of victory. But her triumph is not merely over the elements. Tori finds the courage to cross the inner seas and discover not monsters but a land of promise and an expanded opportunity to love. If you want to be inspired, read this book. You won’t stop till you’ve finished. — Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife

For those six billion or so of us on planet Earth today who will never row across an ocean, this extraordinary narrative by one fellow human who did so transports us to places beautiful, haunting, daunting, terrifying, and uplifting. — Roy Hoffman, author of the novels Almost Family and Chicken Dreaming Corn

In this fine book, Tori McClure generously gives us at the same time a wonderfully told adventure story and a moving account of a storm-wracked journey through self-discovery into healing. . . . Even for the most confirmed landlubbers, there is much to enjoy and much to learn from in these pages, and–believe me–you will find yourself hating to turn the last of them. — Charles Gaines, author of The Next Valley Over

This account of rowing across the Atlantic is riveting. Certain chapters are terrifying, all of them smart and engaging. Tori McClure is a magnificent endurance athlete (she also skied to the South Pole) but also an eccentric in the most admirable sense of the word. — John Casey, National Book Award-winning author of Spartina




Tori is the President of Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. She is best known as the first woman and first American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She rowed a twenty-three foot boat alone and without physical support a distance of more than 3,300 miles. Tori was one of two women and six Americans who were the first women and first Americans to travel over land to the geographic South Pole, skiing 750 miles from the ice shelf to the pole. An avid mountaineer, Tori has climbed on several continents and she was the first woman to climb Lewis Nunatuck summit in Antarctica. She is an Emergency Medical Technician in both urban and wilderness areas. She is also a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School semester courses in Alaska and Kenya.