A Drop in the Ocean by Jenni Ogden

A Drop in the Ocean by Jenni OgdenA Drop in the Ocean by Jenni Ogden
Published by She Writes Press on May 3, 2016
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.
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three-stars

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."

 

A Drop in the Ocean was the kind of read that makes me sound like I’m contradicting myself when I talk about it.

I didn’t like the main character, Anna, much at all. In the beginning, her voice felt stiff and formal. I thought maybe I needed to give myself time to get to know her. After all, she’s extremely introverted (no shame in that!) and she did have major, bad news dumped on her right at the start. I never ending up enjoying her as a character though; I found her to be awkward and so whiny (in a I-can’t-roll-my-eyes-hard-enough kind of way) throughout the book.

When sexual orientation comes up toward the end of the novel (this isn’t a spoiler, don’t worry), I found the conversation a little…well, problematic. The message seemed to be based heavily on old stereotypes, which made me cringe.

Overall, A Drop in the Ocean had a predictable plot, and characters weren’t all that deep.

But…

The descriptions of life on the island! They were amazing. I could see those turtles and the clear, blue water. I was on that island with these characters, on my own get-away-from-society retreat, and it was absolutely delightful. Plus, Anna’s interactions with the supporting characters were really nice. I found I was able to relax and enjoy the lightness of the story; it was exactly the kind of book I needed at the time.

three-stars
  • I haven’t seen this one before, but I love that cover. I wish the characters had worked better for you.

  • I love a book that can really evoke a sense of place like that, but I’m sorry to hear the main character fell flat and the portrayal of sexual orientation was problematic.

  • Jennine G.

    Darn. Sucks when books don’t line up on all fronts…or at least the major ones.