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Ripple: A Dolphin Love Story Kindle Edition
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|Length: 183 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Who is this female wonder athlete?"
"She's your daughter, Ripple,whose sanity has often been questioned."
Rigel gaped, spluttering slightly. He was speechless for a long moment and then he began to laugh. His laughter grew until it infected Delph and they laughed until the sea around them quaked." (p.118)
After the first reading of Tui Allen's "Ripple," one might consider in grateful, amazed contemplation the Here and the Hereafter, or complex loving relationships, or dolphin communities, or the urgency of environmental protection, or or or. Father Clement and Sister Sterne, forgive me. "Please," I thought, "when you sentence me again to life, let Pearl be my mother." Later thoughts can be more worthy of "Ripple," but this book can sink deep in one's mind and heart from which many, many other thoughts arise.
The Story: A weary ancient soul's aura is almost extinguished. Yet Sister Sterne feels in this spirit something unique, so remarkable, it could change the universes. Father Clement, feeling the soul's need for rest, objects. One last chance, they agree, but in the right, the best, situation. So in dolphin Pearl's womb, a baby dolphin begins who is born as Ripple, questing even before birth, for something she MUST discover.
. Far to the south, in another school, a boy dolphin is just two days old. His father and mother, attacked by a shark, thought-stream a call for help, giving their lives to delay the shark's attack on Cosmos long enough for the fighter dolphins to arrive. The fighters dispatch the predator and bring Cosmos back to the caring protective pod, a baby scarred early in mind and body.
The rest of this slim book (about 200 pages in 27 chapters) tell what happens as Pearl's child, the young Ripple, seeks what she has tried to discover over so many years and as Cosmo, too, struggles to learn who he is, where he is going.
Their story, also the story of the dolphins and their world, of the deities of the Divine Hierarchy, is told mostly through expertly written dialog and some narrative. Tui Allen creates characters of Dickensian individuality including the blue-ringed poisonous octopus, Erishkigal and the charming five-day memory octopod, Squelch. Her world is observed and described with the keenness of a profoundly knowledgeable naturalist, like a current-day John Muir who focuses on the waters of Azure. And great grand themes of learning, of the many forms of love, of the Hereafter, and of what the bl**dy blazes we are doing to the earth & waters are infused in every page.
ANY ALERTS? In many ways, none. Readers from 10 to 100 may be grateful to Allen (and illustrator Joe Bergeron) for "Ripples." Even those usually allergic to anthropomorphizing other life forms can read this book with much ease and understanding. Readers' groups might find in "Ripples" a provocative and yes, loved, take-off.
That said, however, the book might be stronger with a few changes or additions.
--the last pages (p 166-172) might be more of a helpful framework and a wee bit less of a "thump" if presented as a Prologue
--a page or so added introducing some of the names, a glossary, since many are resonant but perhaps unfamiliar---such as Eresh-kigal
--a page or so for additional reading. "Ripples" is clearly based on the author's observations and a lifetime of ocean knowledge. There are some other books accessible to the likely readership, however, on dolphin behavior, on octopods, and such.
Overall, five stars and a galaxy of thanks to Tui Allen