Mountain Mama Reviews a New Book About the Sailing Life

get more from BRO

Keys to the Kingdom: A Rising Young Lawyer Who Found the Key by Losing the Lock

For anyone struggling to muster up the courage to leave behind an office job in search of a dream life, Annie Dike’s book The Keys to the Kingdom is for you.  Written with southern charm and light-hearted wit, it’s the perfect book to curl up on a dark winter evening.

At the tender age of thirty, Annie finds herself freshly divorced. She examines other aspects of her life and agonizes over walking away from a law career she spent years creating. The idea of starting over fills her with fear and anxiety. She worries that everyone, especially the law partners she’s worked so hard to please, will consider her nuts.

Once she confronts the realty that she’s living in a prison of her own making by chasing security and money when she really craves an interesting, experience-rich life, she leaves the practice of law for good.

After a dating spree, Annie meets her version of prince charming, Philip, who is also a recovering attorney. Deciding that marriage isn’t for her, she and Philip become adventure companions and the two buy a sailboat, Plaintiff’s Rest. On days too windy to sail, the pair kite surfs and on windless days, Annie uses the mast to rig up her aerial silks to dance through the air.


The book skims the surface of Annie’s finances. The divorce leaves her struggling to get out of an upside-down mortgage while still paying off school loans, but the book leaves certain money matters unexplained, like how Annie scrambles up the money to buy the sailboat and affords the cruising life.

Keys of the Kingdom offers readers an up-close view of life under sail on Annie’s boat. The time on the glimmering sea transforms her from a pasty, unfit desk jockey into a toned and tanned sailor babe. Sailing also bought out her spark in a way that the law never had. Annie writes, “It was as if my life had been fuzzy for years – each day a dull, hazy repetition of the one before – and it was finally now clicked into focus, everything in high-def.”

She soon discovers that the quit-and-sail-away fantasy requires just as much work as practicing law. From climbing the mast to retrieve the halyard to sleepless nights worried about equipment failures to getting caught in weather, Annie spends her fair share of time wet, salty, and uncomfortable. Even in the most challenging moments, she wouldn’t have it any other way, knowing that life on a sailboat is the place she most wants to be.


“The wear of the passage – the uncomfortable conditions your body sometimes has to endure for hours on end – makes you truly appreciate the stillness, the security of being in port or on anchor. The simple act of washing my face after we were docked felt like a lavish experience. . . The more discomfort you endure, the more comfort you find. One enables and enriches the other.”

Amazon releases Keys to the Kingdom this Friday, December 11th. For more information, check out Annie’s website

Support Blue Ridge Outdoors

Did you enjoy this article? To insure Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine continues to deliver you great outdoor related content consider becoming a TrailHead for as little as $1 a month.


in case you missed it

A Hiking Getaway to Madison County, VA

As we head into fall, what better place to get outside and experience the changing leaves than Madison County, Va. Rich in...

Winter Can Never Come Soon Enough at Snowshoe

Winter Can Never Come Soon Enough Our friends at Snowshoe...

Hike Russell County, Virginia

As one of the most beautiful areas in the world, discover all that the mountains of southwestern Virginia have to offer when...

Hike Buchanan County, Virginia

From the scenic mountains and lush forestland to the flowing waters, Buchanan County, Va. is the perfect fall getaway for hiking and...

Support Blue Ridge Outdoors

Help fund our distribution of free outdoor content to the region we love to go outside and play in. LEARN MORE