Sunday, April 12, 2009

Some lazy dogs for your Sunday...

I've had a couple of challenge books sitting around for awhile that have needed some quick reviewing and thought a lazy Sunday was a good time to get them done. Both are loosely based around dogs, though one definitely more than the other.

Lost & Found, written by Jacqueline Sheehan, is the story of Rocky Pelligrino and her search for peace. Having found her husband dead on the bathroom floor after a heart attack, she isn't completely sure where she belongs in the world any longer and thus leaves behind her successful career as a psychologist to move to a remote Maine island and take on the job of Animal Control Warden. It's there that she meets Cooper.

Cooper, a black lab with an arrow lodged in his shoulder, quickly becomes incredibly important to Rocky. He understands her, loves her, and depends on her, like no one else does any longer. Cooper has taken the place of her husband. Unfortunately, when people come around the island and lay claim to Cooper, Rocky has to learn to let go again, with much more difficult and painful results.

A very sad, but light-filled novel of loss and the pure love that animals give off to their humans. I don't know what I would have done without my dog Shae, after this past summer and fall, leaving me very much sympathetic to this story.

Not the best writing (and I found the character of Melissa to be a bit strange and pushy) but an enjoyable plot with a great dog. I read this one for the TBR Challenge.

Lost & Found
Jacqueline Sheehan
304 pages
Adult fiction
April 2007

Ok, so A Three Dog Life, written by Abigail Thomas, is not exactly about what I thought it was going to be about. I had this impression, I don't know if it was from reading another review or what, that it was about rescuing dogs. Not so. Still a beautifully written book and one that I'm glad fell into my hands. I could have stopped reading after quickly learning the subject matter was not what I thought it was to be, but the writing is really wonderful...didn't want to put it down.

A Three Dog Life is an incredibly heart-wrenching memoir, written in a series of essay vignettes, describing the experiences Thomas went through after her husband's brain injury. After being hit by a car and suffering damage to his frontal lobe, he was never the same, having a complete personality change, no longer loving her, and residing in an assisted living facility.

Though her husband no longer needs her, she still needs him and thus sells their New York City apartment, moving farther upstate to be closer to him. She, along with her three faithful dogs, show signs of healing and growth, even in the years of intense pain and hurt. She didn't abandon the man who was her loving husband, even when she felt abandoned by him.

Really a very inspirational, if not painful, read. The writing is truly wonderful and the emotions Thomas went through come through loud and clear, almost too clear at times! Your heart will break for this woman...

This would make a nice gift for someone going through a rough time, needing some encouragement and inspiration.

I read this one for the Spring Reading Thing Challenge.

A Three Dog Life
Abigail Thomas
208 pages
Adult Non-fiction
Harvest Books
September 2007

To learn more about either title, or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.

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