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Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Drop in the Ocean by Jennie Ogden

Title: A Drop in the Ocean
Author: Jenni Ogden
Publisher:  3 May 2016 by She Writes Press
Pages: 300 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: contemporary, womens fiction
My Rating: 4 crowns


On her 49th birthday, Anna Fergusson, Boston neuroscientist and dedicated introvert, arrives at an unwanted crossroads when the funding for her research lab is cut. With her confidence shattered and her future uncertain, on impulse she rents a cabin for a year on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. However Turtle Island, alive with sea birds and nesting Green turtles, is not the retreat she expected. Here she finds love for the eccentric islanders who become her family; for Tom, the laid-back turtle whisperer; and for the turtles whose ancient mothering instincts move her to tears. But Anna finds that even on her idyllic drop in the ocean there is pain, and as the months fly past her dream for a new life is threatened by a darkness that challenges everything she has come to believe about the power of love. Evocative and thought-provoking, A Drop in the Ocean is a story about second chances and hard lessons learned in the gentlest of ways."

My Thoughts

"I simply carried on in the same old way because that's all I know. I'm a fraud. I've always known it deep down, and now I've been sprung."

It was refreshing to read a book about an older woman and the issues she was facing. Anna is 49 years old, an introvert, research scientist who has just had her funding cut. Wondering what is next in life for her, she decides to journey to a remote island off the Australian coast for a year. Throughout the year Anna will meet new friends, fall in love, but more importantly, make a journey of self discovery. Immersing herself in island life, Anna helps with the turtle research and becomes involved with other islanders in their daily lives. 

One cannot help but appreciate the amount of research Ogden has gone into for this story. I enjoyed learning about the marine conservation efforts for turtle research and the very real issues surrounding Huntington's disease. 

It is written so well it reads like a biography, even autobiography. You will listen to Anna and the array of emotions that run through her over the course of the year. Life on the coral cay was idyllic and, even when Anna travelled to visit her mother in Scotland, I likewise enjoyed the Shetland island descriptions - two extremes in island living.  

The characters are real and the plot engaging, as you journey with her in learning that life at 50 can really only be just beginning. It was anything but:

"A pedestrian account of a dried up, middle-aged academic's broken dreams."

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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