Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're going off the Children's Book Week map for a BOOK BIRTHDAY celebration in the Fiction/Women's Fiction arena. Why, you ask? Simple! Because it just so happens to be the book's BIRTHDAY and childhood readers often grow into ADULT readers, thus a reading selection fit for those no longer wet behind the ears or encountering growth spurts. ^-^ You're welcome. Coming to you via Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity, LLC, throw your handful of confetti as we welcome today's book of choice and book birthday celebrant...
She Writes Press
About the book...
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 a void, on impulse she rents a cabin for a year on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. But 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 researcher, and for the turtles whose ancient mothering instincts move her to tears. The waves that ripple from her feeling of belonging carry her back to her lonely past and to her mother’s remote home on far away Shetland. But on her return to her own idyllic drop in the ocean Anna finds that even here 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.
It begins with our leading lady attempting to find her footing in life once again as she's just been knocked for a rather large and unexpected loop. You see for the past many many moons, Anna has been a research scientist hunting down the causes and possible solutions to stopping the formidable opponent that is Huntington's Disease. Upon her 49th birthday, her grant comes up for renewal and low and behold...she and her project get the boot. You'd think she'd have a "woe is me" reaction, and while her's is something short of graceful, she never truly falls apart. Good thing too because she's gonna need those nerves of steel to conquer her next challenge in life. That challenge comes in the form of a self-imposed exile/rehabilitation stint on a remote coral island with no many unexpected entanglements, it'd take a cyclone to shake them all loose. Oh wait...there IS an actual cyclone in this story. Guess she better dig herself in to make her stand...and hold on to her heart which will be an entirely different and harder matter to manage.
Everyone of a certain age and beyond can relate to this story in some fashion. We've all been thrown monkey wrenches and had to deal with things too awful to want to recall at any point in our lives, hunkered down and made it through. Often times, we carry the scars of those experiences either internally or externally for the remainder of our days...but if we're truly lucky, we have the opportunity to shed some of that damaged tissue through good times, memories, and connections we forge afterward. This story is a prime example. Anna had her life's rug pulled out from under her, took a chance on something completely opposite of her person, and found her way to a new life full of meaning, rich with friends, and complete with a family she never dared dream. It was touching to see her grow into her self, wild to watch her blossom under the ministrations of her new "down under" friends, and wicked to see her take charge of her life once again. I'd gladly call her and her fellow islanders "friend". Though her relations with Tom were heartbreaking at times, they still became cherished moments in her life story and continued to be so many years after they occurred. One could only hope to have such a collection of wonderful people in our own lives someday.
Overall, it was a magical story in its own right. Often times people makes digs about Women's Fiction especially if the lead is anything over 30ish but I found Anna to be a remarkable woman as well as the slew of friends and family she surrounded herself with. From start to finish, I was entranced. Speaking of that finish, while it may not have been the ending I wanted, sought, or longed for, it was definitely a perfect fit. It was strong, dignified, and yet still managed to nurture the connections their hearts made throughout the story..."their" in this sense being more of a collective word than simply meaning "two". You'll carry their friendships in your heart right off the page, while dreaming of your own "finding" adventure to truly know not only your own heart but the hearts of others.
Recommended read for Women's Fiction fans of all ages as content is not truly an issue, though the adult crowd may be more inclined to be mesmerized by the story in full.
About the author...
Jenni Ogden grew up in a country town in the South Island of New Zealand, in a home bursting with books and music. Armed with NZ and Australian university degrees in zoology and psychology, she took up a postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked with H.M., the most famous amnesiac in history, before returning to an academic position at Auckland University. There, she immersed herself in clinical psychology and neuropsychology, as well as traveling extensively and writing about her patients’ moving stories in two books, Fractured Minds: A Case-Study Approach to Clinical Neuropsychology and Trouble In Mind: Stories from a Neuropsychologist’s Casebook. Ogden and her husband now live off-grid on a spectacular island off the coast of NZ, with winters spent traveling and at their second home in tropical Far North Queensland.
Special thanks to Caitlin at Caitlin Hamilton Marketing & Publicity, LLC for the ARC for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is IN STORES NOW via She Writes Press, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
BEFORE YOU GO...
THERE'S A GOODREADS GIVEAWAY FOR THIS VERY TITLE GOING ON NOW! CLICK HERE TO BE WHISKED AWAY FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!
Until next time...happy reading!