Joan Adamak Reviews “DOLPHIN GIRL” by Scott Neil

An enchanting, refreshing novel

Most of this story uses the Scottish brogue, which is easy to understand and if not, there is a section at the end that sets out Scottish words and their meanings. Much of this story is humorous and amusing because there are these men who no longer work, drink heavily and their dialogue is typical of men in their cups. Suzy and Josh live in Edinburgh, Scotland, are in their early thirties, but their marriage is on the rocks. After they first married, Josh became injured, which led him into drinking hard and steady, subsisting on the pension he received from his accident. Suzy worked to support them until he had healed enough, but Josh spends every afternoon drinking with his fellow drinkers. Both Josh and Suzy are extremely unhappy, but they are so encased in their bitter emotions that it looks like nothing can ever get better.

One night coming home and walking by the edge of the dock abutting the ocean, Josh is hailed by a mysterious, beautiful woman, who calls herself Dolly and asks to borrow his bathtub. She is really a dolphin and when in a human body, weakens rapidly. When in high school, Josh had been the boyfriend of Katrina, now a marine scientist, and at that time they found Dolly as a young dolphin being kicked by teen boys and Josh and Katrina saved her. That is why Dolly sought him out. In the meantime some little boys see Dolly as a dolphin in Josh’s bathtub and tells the police. Katrina as a marine scientist comes to investigate the situation since it is illegal to keep a dolphin at home.

Dolly’s dolphin sonar no longer works since she apparently has a viral disease and her pod will be down at the beach in four days and she must meet up with them or she will eventually die. With time running out to get Dolly down to the beach in time to join her pod, Josh and three boozing buddies try to fix the mess. Before Josh can help Dolly, Katrina and the government come and take the dolphin when Josh is gone. In the meantime Suzy finds out there is another woman in the house, not realizing she is a dolphin, becomes heart-broken thinking Josh has another lover. Josh and his buddies steal a van with a water tank large enough to hold Dolly as a dolphin; although the tank holds her, the outside of the truck advertises it as holding a seal so the van is highly noticeable. The balance of the story is first one mess and then another occurring, delaying them to get Dolly to where her pod will be, and evading the police department, which is looking for them also. Dolphin Girl is a contemporary fiction novel that cuts across a number of genres from comedy romance to men’s adventure, urban life and the paranormal. This book is a fast read, but at the end the reader feels refreshed and entertained by this mishmash of events


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