The island of East Pukapuka lies in the path of a tsunami that will kill everyone but Butter, a little girl more worried about the lives of the injured animals she cares for than her own. Butter is rescued by a Loggerhead Sea Turtle who carries her away on his back. As she and her exhausted savior begin to sink, the girl is plucked out of the sea by Jesus Dobby, the boozy owner of a salvage boat who is thrilled, at first, to have found a genuine "turtle-girl" hybrid. Downhill racer Dante Wheeler "dies" in a terrible skiing accident and revives in a twilight state, having lost all memories of his former life. When he heals enough to leave the rehab facility, Dante heads to Polynesia, where he has found a home in his dreams. There he encounters Ophelia, a beautiful blond policewoman who reluctantly agrees to transport him to East Pukapuka. Jope and Ratu, a pair of bumbling pirates, steal a vessel laden with cocaine. They are hotly pursued by the drug-runners' hit man Albino Paul, the descendent of cannibals, whose goal is to reclaim his heritage. As in Alpaugh's beloved first novel, THE BEAR IN A MUDDY TUTU, fate pokes its fickle finger in the lives of these hapless souls with about as much clear intention as a three-year-old in a sandbox. Even the gods are incompetent. Alpaugh's world offers no lessons in morality. His characters are fatally flawed, hilarious, and heartbreakingly human.
Used availability for Cole Alpaugh's The Turtle-girl from East Pukapuka
February 2012 : USA Paperback
June 2012 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition