I chose this for my book club because we had all really enjoyed The Art of Racing in the Rain, and this one didn’t disappoint. Despite the similarity of being narrated by a dog, it was an entirely different premise than TAoRitR. This particular dog goes by many names as he (and once, surprisingly a she) is reborn as a different dog, with consciousness of his previous lives. Intent on finding his purpose in these lives, he is a very introspective dog, but a very talented one, having learned valuable lessons from his past lives. Still, he is a dog through and through, commenting on particular smells, reacting to people he loves, enjoying games of fetch and above all, he is unfalteringly loyal.
The writing itself isn’t exceptional, but Cameron delivers a wonderful story, striking the perfect balance of humor and compassion. Though some might find a need for a tissue at certain points, I didn’t think these moments overly emotional. It is inevitable that a dog who experiences multiple existences also experiences death. Yes, I’ve been there and have had to put a beloved dog down and it was one of the worst experiences of my life, but Cameron narrates these episodes with acceptance, not despair. Don’t think you can only enjoy this if you’re a dog lover. It holds universal truths about human nature as perceived by a clever K-9.