Nadia does not hate her father, Alan. She is confused and hurt by her parents' divorce and the arrangements which now require her to live with her mother during the school year and spend part of the summer with her father, and bitter also because, when her parents were married, her father apparently did not show much interest in her. Although the situation now is awkward, and Nadia is bewildered and angry, she does not really hate her father; she would like to establish an easy relationship with him, but does not know how.
When Nadia comes to Florida to be with her father that first August after the divorce, she finds things between them to be very uncomfortable. Alan, who "always was a nervous person," has a difficult time knowing how to act with his daughter, and tends to "hover" over her, which she finds annoying. Alan's work schedule forces him to leave Nadia alone for much of the day, and he feels guilty for this and tries to make it up to her when he does have free time. Nadia herself is conflicted; on the one hand, she does not want to have her father coddle her, but on the other hand, she is angry when others, such as her grandfather and Ethan, interfere with the time she does have with him. Alan does not know what to do with Nadia, and Nadia does not know what to do about the way things are either. Fortunately, after they struggle through the first weeks, Nadia and Alan sit down and talk, acknowledging that, like endangered turtles who have been displaced by the weather, "the storm in (their) private lives (has) picked (them) up and put (them) out of place." Both admit to the need for help in resettling, and through their joint effort in saving the turtles, are able to come to terms with their situation, accepting the fact that even though "there will be times when (he or she) will need a lift," things will work out fine (Chapter 2).