Feature book: Turtle Reef
When Zoe King is offered a job in north Queensland, working in marine science, she couldn’t be more thrilled. It is outdoors, working with marine life, with meaningful research work. After the monotony of her work in Sydney, a sedentary lifestyle and disillusionment in love, she can’t get to her new job fast enough. But once there, Zoe’s confidence slips quickly. Her boss, Bridget, is everything Zoe believes she is not. She’s beautiful, dynamic, with impeccable and impressive academic achievements and runs the rescue and research centre.
When Zoe meets cane king, Quinn Cooper (Bridget’s fiancé), Zoe is immediately drawn to him. Zoe knows she couldn’t even hope to appeal to someone like him. But as she settles into her new job, she gradually finds all is not as wonderful as it first appeared. She is frustrated in her attempts to carry out the research work she was promised, and with some of the precious creatures of the reef falling ill, she starts her own investigative work. Gaining in confidence, she starts to challenge both her boss and Quinn, finding she has much more to offer all of those around her than she originally believed. With the welfare of the marine life in danger, Zoe stands up for what she believes, finding love along the way.
Quinn Cooper has carried on the tradition of his family, not always comfortable with the decisions his father and those before him made because they were unable to change. When Zoe confronts him, he starts to question the way he and other cane farmers in the district grow their crops. As head of the local cane association, he can start implementing changes. He is also starting to question his engagement. Bridget flits in and out of his home, rarely staying. He wants to settle down and start a family.
Again, Ms Scoullar takes a good hard look at important issues in an exotic location. The background to this story is filled with solid information about the wonderful marine animals who populate one of our most precious and vulnerable assets, the Barrier Reef. As Zoe matures into her new role and becomes entrenched in the lives of the creatures in the marine centre and surrounding area, so do we, the readers. We are drawn in emotionally, becoming involved in the welfare of the reef’s inhabitants. And what a good thing that is. We need to care and because of Jennifer, we do. But at heart, it’s a love story too, and as Zoe grows and blossoms into her new role at the centre, she also finally gets her reward in love. A very worthwhile read. I recommend you all take a trip to Turtle Reef. :)
Reviewed by Rosalie
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.