by Gill Lewis
338 pages of environmental adventure
Kara is from in a small fishing village on the coast. Everything in her life revolves around the sea. Her mom, a marine biologist has been missing since she went to protect dolphins being captured for aquariums and sea parks. Her dad is struggling to pay the bills and because of this Kara is about to lose everything left that she cares about, Moana their sailboat. Enter Felix, a Londoner who has CP and is resentful about being forced to leave his friends for a small town of nothing. Sailing might be the thing that break the boredom and that’s how he and Kara connect in instant dislike.
Not all kids are welcoming, appreciative or kind. Jake and Ethan are those kids. They make everyone uncomfortable through teasing and humiliation. Kara is not sorry she broke Jake’s nose – she simply couldn’t stand to hear him say one more nasty thing about her missing mother, or her out-of-work father. Breaking his nose only highlights the tensions between their families. Dredging the reef will mean fisherman can reel in more money. That’s what the town needs according to Jake’s fisherman dad. He has several trawlers and as soon as the dredging ban is lifted he is going to farm the sea. He sees that as his right. Kara does not see it as farming: farmers sow, dredgers only reap.
School is about to end – thankfully in Kara’s mind. Everything is in turmoil in her life. She looks to the sea for some calm and she finds a joyous pod of dolphin dancing in the cove. With them she see a white yearling. Amazing! Kara looks to sea each day for calm and it at one of those times she discovers the albino dolphin washed ashore. It had been snared in an old fishing net, is severely hurt and close to death. Felix finds them there and together they work with vets and specialists to save her and reunite her with her mother. This rescue effort sets off a chain of events that might save the reef – but certainly not without heartache and danger.
Gill Lewis is veterinarian and a writer. Her knowledge of what it would take to save a dolphin and her understanding of the fragile connections between all life add real depth to her stories. The pungent sounds and smell of the sea surround you and bring you to the shore in Cornwall, but you’ll be thinking about the importance of all life around you when you close the covers.