A Drop in the Ocean

A Novel

Fiction - Womens
328 Pages
Reviewed on 01/12/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

After 24 years as a university professor and a clinician and researcher in the area of clinical neuropsychology (and in 2015 being honored with the Distinguished Career Award by the International Neuropsychological Society), I now write full-time from my home on a remote and beautiful island off the coast of northern NZ. Here I am free to concentrate on a long-held dream of writing "book club" fiction, and my first novel, "A Drop In The Ocean"--a novel about love, sea turtles, and an unthinkable choice--will be published by She Writes Press in May, 2016. It already has advance praise from New York Times bestselling novelists, Ann Hood and Jacquelyn Mitchard. Do sign up for my monthly e-newsletter (go to my author website, www.jenniogden.com) where I give you a few amusing insights into whatever is going on in my off-grid island life or my travels, and share a book review of a book I love.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Danielle Urban for Readers' Favorite

A Drop in the Ocean is a brilliantly well written novel, one that will instantly pull readers into its deepest depths. Jenni Ogden has beautifully woven a story that readers won't easily forget. A story of one woman's journey to life, love, and loss, A Drop in the Ocean is a fictional world where readers will truly lose themselves inside its plot.

Jenni Ogden's novel, A Drop in the Ocean, is the first of her novels that I have read. After reading this compelling story, I have fallen in love with Jenni Ogden's work. In a world depicting one very intelligent yet strong woman, Anna Fergusson isolates herself inside her work. This work requires a lot of back breaking old-fashioned research. It's not until her 49th birthday that she reads a letter that will forever change her life. The life and work that she has come to know and love is taken away, but still she hopes for a miracle. Soon, she finds herself on an island and discovers a lot more to life than just research.

Readers will laugh and cry and want to hug Anna Fergusson as the scenes unfold. But that's not all. Readers will be taken into the vivid imagery of the island and the turtles. A beautiful world indeed. Life throws us curve balls and here we see Anna struggle with the ones tossed her way. Jenni Ogden's story is realistic and heartfelt. This is a must-read for all. A breathtaking journey of second chances. Life, love, and loss are strong themes that will lure readers back to this unforgettable novel. I loved it! A powerful read that I highly recommend to readers everywhere.

Netgalley Reviews

Victoria P, Reviewer
I wasn't sure I would like this book but it totally captured me. Jenni Ogden opened my eyes to Huntington's Disease and somehow managed to write a very good story which also incorporated saving the turtles. Recommends This Book Yes 4 stars

Louise H, Reviewer
An engaging read this book takes you on an emotional rollercoaster and really makes you open your eyes and think about your own life and how you would act in similar scenarios. Finally a thinking girl's book whilst also containing romance and family sagaesque qualities. I have reviewed on good read but cannot yet review on Amazon. Recommends This Book Strongly 5 stars

Jessica W, Bookseller
Recommends This Book Strongly 5 stars

Elaine O, Librarian
I'd highly recommend this book. It's interesting and commendable that the author was able to combine two serious issues, Huntington's Disease and Marine Turtle Conservation in the same novel, and make the plot line and characters believable. Recommends This Book Yes 4 stars

Rosemary S, Librarian
Boston Neuroscientist Anna Fergusson celebrates turning 49 by losing the funding for her research project. Feeling at a loss both personally and professionally, she decides to rent a cottage on the Great Barrier Reef. Turtle Island is beautiful and Anna quickly comes to care for the Green turtles who nest there, the locals and for Tom, a man who seems to have a special affinity for the ancient creatures who nest there. I fell in love with the island and with Tom myself, but those turtles. Oh, those turtles, I wanted to quit my day job and head to Australia to do everything I could to protect those magnificent, wise creatures Recommends This Book
Strongly 5 stars

More Netgalley praise

Tara M, Reviewer
I didn't think I'd like this book at first, as it got off to a bit of a slow start. However, it soon drew me in with its raw emotions and the detailed descriptions of marine life. Before I knew it, I was feeling every emotion the characters were feeling. By the end I was well entangled in the lives of these characters and sad to see the story come to an end. I will be looking forward to more from this author in the future Recommends This Book

Sky H, Reviewer
Full of emotion, prepare to be captivated, a touching read. I really enjoyed this book and the story that it told. Until reading this book I hadn't really heard much about Huntington's Disease or Marine Wildlife Conservation and I really enjoyed how they fitted into the plot and how informative the author was about them both, The Characters were real and refreshing and the plot was engaging, I will be keeping Jenni Odgen on my radar. Thankyou for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. Recommends This Book

Victoria J, Reviewer
Not only was this book amazing, but i love that it had Marine wildlife in it. I've wanted to study the sea life for as long as i can remember. but I choose a different life in path. This book reminded me of all that i love. But with it comes heartbreak with the Huntington's disease. This book, to me, is about second chances in life. Recommends This Book Yes 4 stars

Clair C, Reviewer
A story with a difference... Anna is not the usual fluffy, girly and emotional protagonist that you usually find yourself reading about in terms of almost fifty year old women characters and I enjoyed reading about an intelligent woman for a change! There is a stark contrast between Anna herself and the landscape in which she chooses to retreat to after her unexpected redundancy from her lab but it works beautifully and it was so easy to fall in love with the island. An eye-opener about the awful crippling Huntington's disease but it is dealt with real compassion, knowledge and understanding. Recommends This Book Yes 4 stars

Ann K, Bookseller
This is an amazing story that deals with two issues. Marine wildlife conservation and Huntington's disease. Anna goes to a small island near Australia after years of researching human genes and hunting a cure for Huntington's Disease. She meets a turtle researcher named Tom and his brother Morrie. She starts making friends for the first time in her life. As she learns to live life and have new adventures she finds that sometimes curve balls make things seem impossible. I love Anna and enjoy that is is older (49 years old) . The island sounds remarkable and the people are real.Recommends this book strongly 5 stars

Mags K, Reviewer
Initially I found this book a little staid. However as Anna, one of the main characters in the book, begins to settle into life on the island in the Great Barrier Reef, and find herself, so I was able to settle into the book. I loved many things about the book, including the realistic portrayal of family relationships, the love and friendships which developed and the descriptions of the wildlife on and .around the island. I have had the privilege of working with two people from the same family who had Huntingdons disease, I applaud the realistic and honest way this horrible disease is portrayed in the book and had a tear for the lovely people I worked with and the characters in the book who suffered through this disease. This is a multi-faceted book which I will want to read again. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. Recommends This Book Yes 4 stars

julie f, Reviewer
Anna is a 49 year old scientist who lives in Boston. She is alone, with the exception of a few friends and her Huntington's Disease research lab. She receives notice that her grant will not be renewed. Not sure what to do with her life, she ends up on a remote island in Australia. She meets new friends, explores her family's past, and tries to find herself. Jenni Ogden's story is warm and touching. She weaves scientific knowledge about HD and turtles into a refreshing study about how life is not over at 49 and is only really beginning. Anna has the opportunity to grow in life, live, laugh, and love. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for this review! Recommends This Book Yes 4 stars

cherry J, Reviewer
Recommends This Book strongly 5 stars

Editorial Reviews

“In A Drop in the Ocean, protagonist Anna Fergusson learns that love is about letting go. Jenni Ogden takes us on a sweeping journey, rich with unique characters and places, moving backward and forward in time, to reach this poignant and heartfelt lesson.”—Ann Hood, New York Times best-selling author of The Knitting Circle, The Red Thread, and The Obituary Writer

“Evocative and thought-provoking, A Drop in the Ocean is a story about belonging—and the ripples that can flow from the family we choose to the family that chooses us.”—Anita Heiss, finalist in the 2013 Australian of the Year Awards and best-selling author of Tiddas and Manhattan Dreaming

“ . . . a deeply affecting story of a woman’s journey to open up to love, life, and, most importantly, herself.”—Céline Keating, author of Layla and Play for Me

“Jenni Ogden is a natural storyteller who writes characters to care about.” —Nicky Pellegrino, author of One Summer In Venice.

"A novel about turtles, the fragility of life, and the complexity of love, A Drop in the Ocean will transport you to remote islands with its lyrical natural imagery. This is a story to savor, discuss, and share.”
—Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son

“Reading A Drop in the Ocean was everything a reading experience should be, endearing and enduring, time spent with characters who seem to be people I already knew.”—Jacquelyn Mitchard,
New York Times #1 best-selling author of The Deep End of the Ocean