Swimming with Dolphins - Deborah Wright
I finished Swimming with Dolphins on the bus today. With a storm raving outside, snowflakes coming down madly. Look at the cover of this book and you'll understand how utterly wrong it felt! How out of place I felt to be freezing, sitting on a bus, looking out at the white landscape.
Anyway, this is the first book by Deborah Wright I've read. (I recently discovered though that I own one of her earlier books, that I'd started but never finished due to some sad circumstances in my life). There was quite a hype about Swimming with Dolphins before it was published and I was really looking forward to reading it.
Do you ever look out of your window and dream of lying on a gorgeous beach with a handsome stranger? Julia Rothwell certainly does. But with a high-powered job as a Hedge Fund Manager, she barely has time to clean her teeth let alone go on holiday. Then the credit crunch hits and Julia is left with nothing but her redundancy pay. Her best friend Reece encourages her to draw up a list entitled: Ten Things To Do Before I Die. Top of the list is to sleep with an Italian. So begins a crazy, wonderful, rollercoaster of an adventure that sees Julia crossing countries and continents, and experiencing romance and heartbreak, sushi and surprises, volcanoes and gambling, and – if she can make it to the end of her list – swimming with dolphins. Join her on her unforgettable journey! (Taken from Goodreads.com)
Well, it definitely is a Summer, Beach Read. But I actually don't know if I'd liked it better reading it in Summer on the Beach instead of reading it in freezing buses or the warmth of my bed while it being all dark and wintry outside. Deborah Wright does a really good job of describing all the exotic, warmth places Julia does get to visit. You can feel the warm air on you skin, smell the different flavours, feel part of the different cultures that actually emerge on the pages. It feels wonderful to be carried away to other places so different from where you are at the moment.
I actually liked the book, it kept me interested, guessing, wanting to know what happens next. And believe me, there's a lot of stuff happening. It's quite a journey it takes you on.
With that said it took me two attempts to get started with it. First time around I just couldn't *feel* it. But the second time I tried, a few weeks later, it captured me at once. The story is interesting, the development believable and the narrative flows throughout most of the book. The story is told from first person Point of View, and in present tense, (I - now, am doing), which makes it kind of awkward sometimes. It feels like it is the first time for the author to use this Point of View and hasn't really gotten the hang of it yet. Don't understand me wrong, I'm a very very very big fan of first POV, present-tense I'm not so sure of. And it didn't keep me from finishing the book either. It just needs a little bit more practice :).
Two other, very small things that *annoyed* me: Sometimes it could get a bit naïve or a bit too fairytaily - too good to be true and I just wanted to yell at Julia that she was acting stupidly or was being naïve. I couldn't accept ALL the situations, feeling them removed quite a bit from how normal people react or speak. The second thing was the *time* thing, the duration of things. Towards the end, with all the e-mail-communication when you can see the dates, some really big things that take up quite few chapters and long flights take only 3 days, while a simple reply takes 12 days? Weird. I guess it's just some small mistake while typing the dates, but still.
Anyway, all in all I really enjoyed this book. And I actually gave it 4 stars on goodreads :) So, if you are looking for a breezy, summery story of a journey around the World, finding yourself, family and love and a whole lot of insight then check it out!