The Dolphin House; Audrey Schulman
Europa Editions - 2022
Set in the mid-1960s twenty-something Cora is a hearing-impaired cocktail waitress in Florida. One day tired of being man-handled while forced to wear a tight bunny suit, she buys a one-way ticket to Saint Thomas and her life is changed in a way she hadn't expected.
Dr. Blum is a Harvard research scientist and professor trying to learn more about dolphins but, his methods are rather cruel. Cora, discovers she has a gift of being able to hear these mammals and as she swims she slowly gains their trust. Dr. Blum sees something in Cora's way with the dolphins and offers her a job to study the dolphins with a goal of teaching them English. She is excited about the opportunity but insists that the cruel experimentation stop while she focuses on one particular dolphin named Junior. She even has a homearium built for her and Junior to share as they work together. Her progress and results are fascinating but, not everyone is thrilled. The other all male researchers see her as unqualified. As the only female and a slim, attractive one at that who has to spend 6-days a week in her swimsuit she is forced to put up with a lot in the days when sexual harassment wasn't taken seriously.
Based in part on a true story about dolphin research conducted by John Lilly, I really loved this story. This is a story that held me captive and had my emotions all over the place. It was so moving to see the progress Cora was able to make as she gained Junior's trust. There is a touching scene when Cora becomes frustrated but, she soon after discovers that her hard work pays off. At times I was angry about some of had happened but, the author's talent and involved research made this a very rewarding read.
Rating - 4.5/5 stars
NOTE: Thanks go to Europa Editions and Edelweiss for allowing me access to the satisfying book.