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Must Love Dogs (Must Love Dogs #1)

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3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  6,142 ratings  ·  413 reviews
Ready to put her divorce behind her, Sarah Hurlihy is not sure where she's headed, or if she'll survive the journey. It takes a few wrong men--and some tangles with a St. Bernard--before Sarah appreciates the riotous ride she's on. Now a major motion picture starring Diane Lane ("Under the Tuscan Sun").
Paperback, 292 pages
Published July 5th 2005 by NAL Trade (first published June 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Nicole Rhaven
I read this book because I love the movie and really didn't even know there was a book. So, I borrowed it from my local library.

Sarah is much more flaky, gullible, naive with no backbone in the book. She's a complete mess and she doesn't know what she wants. She has a connection with John from the start but she somehow won't commit to him and goes on a wild, unnecessary, goose chase for "Mr. Right."
Her family is always surrounding her and giving her advice, which she usually just does the oppos...more
Michele
Most of this review is more a review of my first experience with an audiobook. Toward the end I'll discuss the book itself.
This was my first audiobook. When I decided to take my 5 mile run to the treadmill (rather than the roads) one day, I decided to check out an audio book online from my local library, to hopefully break the monotony of a treadmill workout. I chose this book because I remembered thinking the movie trailers looked cute (will now have to watch the movie) and it seemed an easy en...more
Rebecca
Ohmigod, lamest book ever. Thank god it only took me like 2 days to read it. How could someone read this and say, lets make a movie? There are so many other good chick-lit books out there and this one was written for like a high schooler. Or did the movie come first and then someone wrote this book? Who knows. I never saw the movie and after this book, I have no plans to EVER see it. Shit, I just looked at IMDB to see who played what character, because I only knew the leads and Dermot Mulroney p...more
Mamma
I am so ashamed of myself for even picking up this book. But what can I say? I was looking for a fun, light read. It was definitely light, but not fun. After two pages, I put it down. I picked it up again only to wish it wasn't a library book so I could burn it or throw it across the room. Stupid, stilted prose. Crummy, crummy, painfully embarrassing dialog. Yikes. Double yikes.
Megan
I really don’t know what to say about this book.

The main character Sarah is in her 40’s, teaches at what I believe was a daycare center, is divorced, and has a rather large family that loves to just show up at her house uninvited, meddle in what little of a dating life she has, and then you have the dad who comes off as a flaky man whore jumping from one woman to the next. Everyone in this family is full of advise that is not always the best and has what seem to be families of their own full of...more
Miranda
"This was a perfect holiday read, although truth be told I started before I left for holidays! If you are in your 30's, and dating, thinking about dating, or just remembering dating, this is a fun read that will leave your nodding your head in agreement and laughing out loud! The charactors are zany enough to keep you entertained, but realistic enought that you don't roll your eyes and give up on the story, and the story itself isn't original or groundbreaking, but this author has a way of reeli...more
Laura
This was the first time I read a book about a movie, instead of the other way around. I have never seen "Must Love Dogs", but judging by the trailers, people are better off watching it instead of reading this adaptation. The story is not the only thing to blame for my negative feedback. I can't really think of a romantic comedy I've read that I thoroughly enjoyed. As I've said before, I'm happy to be given any book titles you've liked in this genre.

"Must Love Dogs" is a story about a divorced wo...more
Cyndy Aleo
I've been burned out on women's fiction for quite some time now, and especially burned out on women's fiction that's been turned into a movie starring Diane Lane. It seems to be a specific genre or something that just drives me nuts, but when author Allie Larkin tweeted a recommendation for Claire Cook's Must Love Dogs , which was free on Amazon, I decided to take a chance.

Sarah Hurlihy is 40, childless, and newly divorced. At the encouragement of one of her sisters (she comes from the stereotyp...more
Christy
Preschool teacher Sarah Hurlihy, encouraged by her close-knit Irish Catholic family, begins to think about dating after being divorced for two years. Sarah answers a personal ad in her local paper, only to find her date is her widowed father; something her family finds hilarious. Sarah’s sister Carol places a personal ad for Sarah which starts Sarah on the path to weeding out prospective dates. One or two hold promise but Sarah can’t seem to find the time for any relationship to marinate while d...more
Särah Nour
Romantic comedies are rarely as well done and as charming as Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook, a fun, light read with warmth as well as wit. Though rom-coms typically do not appeal to me, I found this one to be a highly enjoyable tale of a midlife crisis and the trials and tribulations of courtship.

Must Love Dogs tells the story of preschool teacher Sarah Hurlihy, who, having tired of spending evenings at home watching The Brady Bunch, attempts to venture back into the dating scene after her divorc...more
Jennifer Whiteford
Boy is this ever what they call a "beach read". Entertaining and quick. Easy reading is tough writing so I appreciate that, but a few things about the book bugged me. As with much of "chick lit" the protagonist is made out to be such a mess, it is almost impossible to understand why dashing men are attracted to her. But I liked the constant inclusion of her crazy family, the fact that she was 40, not 25, and that she lived in a small town, not a bustling city. Also, just personally, I liked the...more
Sally Kilpatrick
Okay, so a 4.5, maybe.

Here's what I love: voice, easy going prose, quirky characters, winey mac&cheese.

Here are my issues: the ending was a little more ambiguous than I like and Sarah found herself in some situations that embarrassed me on her behalf. Now, that said, she is a likably flawed character. She reminds me of some of Kristan Higgins's characters in how she does things while I'm grimacing and shouting, "No! No! Don't do that!" That is a me thing. I have no hesitations in recommendin...more
Amy
I am not sure why I never read this one, but it was an enjoyable, light read. Ok, minor annoyance here....but if the book features a St. Bernard puppy, why change that (see movie cover book). At least the original cover had a Saint puppy. Top pet peeve of mine - putting a different breed on the cover other than the one featured in the book - that is like bait and switch to me. Of course, I know the author has little control over it. Yet, I am picking up the sequel and there is a Bernese Mt. Dog...more
Allison
There are many books out that focus on relationships - past and present, failed and successful - and how to remedy them. In fact, many books take a humorous approach to the personal ads. Claire Cook's Must Love Dogs is the best of that group. She has written a sweet yet amusing book that takes a good attitude towards dating, without making it the focus of the story. This is my first Claire Cook novel, and I found she reminds me of Sara Lewis.
Jess
I really enjoyed this book, not only because of its witty dialogue and humorous situations, but because rather than being a traditional love story, it explores how difficult it is to find someone, and how sometimes it's not necessarily the finding that's important, but the things you learn about yourself along the way. The family this book centers around is crazy, and somehow very familiar.
Aisha
Hmm...after all the hype about the movie (which I have never seen), I thought I'd give this book a shot. The main character was believable but I found myself annoyed with her more often than not...I don't know... Anyway, it wasn't horrible but I was glad to be done. I think I might rent the movie JUST to see if this is one case where the movie is better than the book!
Kristen
This book was fun and light and cute, and nothing at all like what I normally read. It is chic lit through and through. There's nothing wrong with that, and it's definitely what I expected when I picked it up. So in that sense it delivered.

It also seemed to not go anywhere. The plot sort of meandered, the main character's self-esteem wobbled up and down--plummeting to new depths when the guy who had answered her add a month ago mentioned being dragged kicking and screaming to a singles gatherin...more
Parina Patel
I had a really hard time liking the main character, mainly because I hated the choices she made. It was so easy to tell from the beginning where she should have placed her effort. It was frustrating to see her making all kinds of mistake especially at her age...
Taryn
Better than the movie! Sarah's character was extremely relatable. She was a lonely women which was actually kinda sad, she was pretty desperate, which I'll blame for the slight stalking and stupid decisions to give men chances she shouldn't have:

Exhibit A: Guy #1

"I was attracted to you, then I got sorta sidetracked by June, but I'm back now."

How romantic...

• This same winner went on to constantly mention how 'beautiful' June was...Really? Who wants to hear how good-looking someone else is, espe...more
Jenifer
I listened to the audio version of Must Love Dogs while packing up for our recent move. I have to say that this was one of those books that I could have dropped at any point. It wasn’t that it was bad, it just wasn’t all that great. The characters all seemed like characters I have seen so many times before (maybe they were new-ish when the book was published 12 years ago?). The main character’s story and attempt to date and find love just seemed to drag on and on. I vaguely remember seeing the m...more
Tammy
It was okay. I thought the movie was cute, so I decided to read the book. Well the movie was better than the book...not something I usually say that's for sure.
Tracy Jones
I had read another book by Claire Cook for another swap, I believe. I thought it was going to be cheesey and cliché like some of these chick lit type of books, but I was really surprised and enjoyed that story. I really liked the relationships in the story I had read before. This book I was expecting the same, and I really didn't feel that impressed with it. I guess maybe because this story was actually supposed to be more romancey, and the book I read first was less so. (Maybe I just don't lik...more
Linda
Massachusetts author. Romantic comedy that made me laugh. I'd like to see the movie.
Shami
Fluff - and not very good fluff. It had some laughs but dragged on overall.
Mina
Jun 17, 2014 Mina rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: audio, 2014
I saw the movie years ago, and I enjoyed it (I rarely dislike John Cusack), so when I searched my library's audio book selection for something light, this seemed like a good fit. I liked the story well enough, but Sarah's pessimism grated on me after a while, and especially in the last few lines. Sarah seems real, relateable, and believable as a 40ish divorcee, complete with insecurities, trust issues, and more than a little baggage. However, the insecurities sound insincere and make her almost...more
Andrea Guy
When the film "Must Love Dogs" came out many years back, I didn't know it was based on a book. When I found a copy of the book in my library, I was over the moon to read it. Little did I know that the book and the film are nothing alike. This is actually a case where the book was really not that good.

I like Claire Cook but the characters here were just so unlovable. Sarah is not fun and neither is her family. I expected a light funny read and that wasn't what I got. Her father didn't seem to app...more
Stephanie
For the longest time I had absolutely no idea that this story originated as a book, but having fallen absolutely head-over-heels in love with the movie, I decided to try it out when I stumbled upon a copy at my favorite used bookstore. Putting aside for a moment my opinions of film-versions of bestselling books (because I could talk all damn day about it) I'm prepared to talk warmly about both of them.

Claire Cook typed out a masterpiece when she dotted the final i in Must Love Dogs. I absolutel...more
Alyssa Archambo
So, I really didn't like this book. I gave it two stars, because it was a quick read and I was able to finish it, but on the whole, I was disappointed. I can't remember what I thought of the movie since I watched it so long ago, but I think it may have been better. Nothing of importance really happened, I didn't find it all that funny even though it's labeled as a "humor" book, and the characters annoyed me. Granted, I'm not divorced or anything, so maybe I'm not in the target audience, but I th...more
Leah K
Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook

★ ★ ★

This is the second time I've read a Claire Cook book. And I already have to formula down. Girl (woman in 40s anyway) feels like she will never grow up. Girl is divorced or never married. Girl feels like she will never find man. Girl tries too hard. Girl finds too many men at the same time – too many for me to keep track of. Girl realizes one man is the best. Girl and boy live happily ever after...everyone together now...awwww. With that in mind, I did not mind...more
kari
I didn't like this book, didn't like the main character who just whined on too long. I wouldn't have finished it had I not chosen it for a reading challenge.
Sarah, the protagonist, seems stupid. She wants someone to love, but then resists all attempts by her family to help her find that special person. I didn't understand why she kept doing this. Her behavior didn't make any sense to me.
There is way too much story about her father's escapades and her brother's failing marriage, her teenage niece...more
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Reinvention is the story of my books and my life. I wrote my first novel in my minivan at 45. At 50, I walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the adaptation of my second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack.

I’ve just reinvented myself again by writing my first nonfiction book, Never Too Late, to share everything I’ve learned on my own journey that might help you...more
More about Claire Cook...
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“I confronted the fact that I was not only talking to a dog, but answering for one.” 9 likes
“Maybe part of find what you wanted was recognizing what you didn't want. Maybe there was hope for me yet.” 1 likes
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