Summary and Analysis
Ronnie heads over to Blakelee Brakes the next morning, accuses Will of not calling the aquarium, and storms out. Will races out after her. When he finds her an hour later, Ronnie is still mad and blames him for her having to spend two nights watching the eggs and protecting the nest. Will tells her that he called twice and he went to the director of the aquarium that very morning. Although Ronnie believes him, she tells him that that won't help her turtles tonight.
As Will returns to work, he realizes that he likes this new girl. He returns to the nest that night. Not getting a friendly response from Ronnie, he quotes the opening line of Anna Karenina. The two continue to banter until Ronnie finally breaks down and reveals her name to Will.
They briefly share an overview of their lives, learning that each is a recent high school graduate. When Will asks about Blaze, Ronnie stiffens for a second but then realizes he does not know anything about the shoplifting charges. Will offers to guard the nest with her, and Ronnie asks why.
The two take a long walk on the beach and both enjoy their silent time together. Will ends up spending the night by the nest, only to be awakened by Jonah the next morning. When Jonah reveals that Will was the one who told Officer Pete that Ronnie went to Bower's Point, Ronnie storms off toward the house. Will stops her, pleads with her, and then offers to show her something that he promises she will like.
That something is an injured loggerhead turtle at the aquarium. They talk about his volunteering at the aquarium, fishing, and mudding, a local activity, and end up spending the day together. Will mentions that his mother is planning his sister's wedding and that his sister lives in New York. They return to the nest and discuss the hatching of eggs, all the while flirting. Will invites her to his volleyball game, and Ronnie accepts.
The quotation from Anna Karenina is significant to Will's character development for a couple of reasons. First, it shows that Will is more than just a pretty boy or dumb jock; having studied the Russian novel in school, he is able to quote its famous opening line. But perhaps more importantly, the line itself seems relevant to both families. In both Will's and Ronnie's families, things are not what they seem and contain a mixture of happiness and sadness.
During an early exchange with Will, Ronnie collects her hair into a loose ponytail. As discussed earlier, this unconscious action is comforting to Ronnie. This sign shows readers that Ronnie is warming up to the possibility of getting to know Will.
Mabel, the injured turtle, serves as a symbol for Ronnie — scars and all. Just as Will is helping to nurse Mabel back to health, he may be able to help Ronnie heal her emotional and spiritual scars.
Michael Jordan one of the most famous and one of the best players in the history of the NBA; he played for the University of North Carolina and the Chicago Bulls
The Terminator the title character of a 1984 movie about a cyborg killer from the future sent back in time to kill a woman before she is able to give birth
Cipher a person of no influence; a nonentity
Osprey a large hawk that preys on fish; aka a fish hawk
small red drum a large edible Atlantic coastal fish
trawler vessel used for fishing with a trawl net, a strong fishing net for dragging along the sea bottom