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Luke's Tale

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Luke, an intelligent, 89-pound yellow Labrador retriever, has an odd ability to understand human conversations and actions. When his owner’s girlfriend, Sara Colson, discovers she has breast cancer Luke is the sole secret keeper of her disease. Not knowing if she’ll survive, Sara leaves her boyfriend, Ashlundt Jaynes, to shield him from the pain. Luke, knowing how to give unconditional love, is the catalyst bringing the two lovers back together and helps them stay together while Sara and Ashlundt overcome a series of life-changing events.

At the heart of Luke’s Tale is the story of two lovers and their struggle with unforeseen disillusionment to build a lasting relationship -- and the loving, furry creature who is devoted to them beyond all reason.


First published December 24, 2012

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About the author

Carol McKibben

34 books194 followers
Carol McKibben was a magazine publisher for more than 20 years. She began a new career in freelance writing and editing in 2007. As well as editing other authors’ works to realize their dreams, she has completed Luke’s Tale and published a memoir, Riding Through It.

Carol currently writes from the heart of a dog's eyes. Often telling her stories to Laberdoodles, Basset Hounds and any stray that happens by, it wasn't long before people stopped to have a listen as well. Now Carol writes for people and speaks to large audiences, dogs included.

For a FREE eBook Copy of Riding Through It (Carol's Memoir), go to http://www.carolmckibben.com and register with your email! I promise not to send you tons of emails and will keep your email private!

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5 stars
119 (66%)
4 stars
26 (14%)
3 stars
24 (13%)
2 stars
7 (3%)
1 star
4 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for John Jr..
Author 2 books6 followers
August 6, 2013
What a beautiful book. If you love or have ever loved a dog or another person, this book is for you. It asks the question: If a dog can love us unconditionally, why can't we as human beings, love each other in the same way.

My wife Marti and I read it together and handed each other tissues, and then burst out laughing at the antics of beautiful Luke, who tells the story of the people he loves through his eyes. Even more incredible, he sees them even more clearly as he goes blind.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to read a great story.
Profile Image for Linda.
148 reviews2 followers
February 9, 2014
I really loved this book, but found it difficult to read at times. Luke was such a great dog, and I found his way of telling a story very heartwarming and believable. When he started going blind, I cried. When he developed cancer, I cried. When it got near the end for him, I literally had to put the book down...several times. When it was really the end, I put the book down and went into the bathroom and cried so my husband wouldn't think I was crazy.I would love to contact the author so I can tell how this book affected me. I would recommend this book to all dog lovers, but be prepared yo cry your eyes out.
Profile Image for Murielle Cyr.
Author 9 books85 followers
April 20, 2019
LUKE'S TALE is a touching, heart-wrenching story of unconditional love told in a dog's point of view. Luke is a loyal and exceptional golden retriever who is tune with, and at the mercy of his masters' emotional ups and downs. Ashlundt, a trained psychologist, protects himself from being hurt by burying his head in the sand. When his lover is diagnosed with cancer, he refuses to see her. When his dog becomes blind, he ignores it. He must learn to love without conditions in order for his marriage is to survive. Luke's courage and undying devotion is the link that keeps the couple together, but will Ashlundt recognize and embrace this before its too late. A truly well written story with a strong message and certainly a must read for all pet owners.
Profile Image for S.N. McKibben.
Author 12 books165 followers
January 17, 2014
Not able to not cry...and I loved it...so much. Really too emotional about the book to try and give a review that would help readers decide to read it--only that to be brave is to love a dog--and read this book.
Profile Image for Sarah.
174 reviews15 followers
September 10, 2013
I cried at the end of this story, being that it was a really really good story. I was surprised that the whole narration of the book was from Luke's POV and surprised that there was a lesson to be learned by the end. Yes, Luke is the dog but the way he told situations and events, you forget that he's a dog. Being a dog owner, myself, I sympathized with Luke's humans.

The author choose words and formed the sentences to give the reader a vivid picture as they read. Reading Luke's Tale was watching a movie in my head. I think that's how stories should be and when you find a book that makes you see pictures via words, then it's all good.

Now, I didn't care for the way Ash acted in the beginning or in the middle, but he grew to be a better person by the end. As for Sara, she wasn't a bad character in the beginning but she was too self righteous and like Ash, she became a better person.

This book had many stories going on at once: Ash and Sara's relationship, Luke being the messenger, Luke's own journey, how the couple copes and a lot more. Bottom line, the book advertised as a love story and it does not disappoint.

Profile Image for Shira Esposito.
2 reviews1 follower
September 7, 2016
Such a charming read about a dog losing his eyesight and trying to keep a family together. I'm not a dog owner, but I fell in love with Luke. And I cried with him as he used all his determination to overcome the loss of vision to reunite his owners in troubled times.
Profile Image for Michele.
1,760 reviews48 followers
September 3, 2013
This was one of the most beautiful books written from a dogs point of view. I just finished it am am actually crying. This is a lesson on unconditional love that I am not ever going to forget. I will also do a book review on my blog as well as recommend and review it on Amazon and Librarythings. This story has definitely moved me in ways no other has in a very long time.
Profile Image for Eric Rutle.
2 reviews1 follower
September 15, 2016
Touching tale about a wonderful dog who does his best to keep a family together during times of epic sadness. And this despite his failing eyesight, which eventually renders him blind, but also gives his life a whole new purpose. You don't have to be a dog-lover to appreciate the bittersweet emotions of this beautifully told story.
5 reviews1 follower
July 1, 2013
Luke's Tale by Carol McKibben

I was so looking forward to this book, but didn’t really enjoy it. It should carry a WARNING—if you have recently lost a beloved pet—DO NOT READ THIS or you’ll end up bawling your eyes out, as I did, and I’m a cat person.

Dog lovers, especially those who have owned Labradors will adore it. Everybody else will be bored by most of it especially in several tedious parts—the worst being the tests Luke goes through to become a hospital visiting dog.

His hospital visiting sessions were beautifully rendered and heart-warming. Luke was a sweetheart throughout and told his story well.

The damaged male protagonist was so irritating in his blindness and feelings of entitlement—he didn’t deserve the unconditional love he was given—what he really needed was a swift kick up the backside. I couldn’t blame his wife for preparing to leave him. He was most fortunate that he didn’t muff his last chance with her.

Somehow I had the impression that this was supposed to be a YA novel, but there were no teenagers in it, and I don’t believe they would be happy with the over-simplistic, over-explained lecturing style when Sara is giving her talk and explaining things to her thick-headed husband. None of that read as natural.

What I really resented was the author’s blatant emotional manipulation. It is so easy for any reasonably good writer to arouse tears in a reader, but the penultimate scene where tears were indeed appropriate should have sufficed. I received a free copy for an honest revue. I gave the book only 3 stars as 3½ isn’t allowed.
5 reviews7 followers
March 24, 2014
I like to stretch my literary horizons, and when something different comes along, I will often check it out. Carol McKibben is a masterful writer who portrays the emotional struggles of a young couple through the eyes of Luke, a yellow lab.

It takes skill to make a reader suspend believe and go with the flow. Within a page or two, I accepted the human qualities of Luke, and wanted to know where the story was going. I got right into the story and read 80 pages the first night.

I like mystery novels, and when Luke was trying to give his master (not really a good word in this case) clues about where the Ash's long-time friend, Sara,was, I really got into it. Each day, Luke would bring Ash objects Sara had owned. And each time, he failed to get the message.

I don't want to spoil the story by giving too many details. I will say that the author was able to bring tears to my eyes. Yet, there was hope and, of course, as the title says, "unconditional love."

Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Michelle.
306 reviews
June 11, 2013
This is a hard one for me. I readily give this book 4 stars and I really did love it. This really is a "self-help" book disguised as a book about a dog. When I discovered this, I was a bit put off and found myself a little annoyed. But the author does a wonderful job of expressing her message of unconditional love through the thoughts and actions of a dog. Luke's never ending loyalty and love for his owners (even when he was rejected and blamed) is so heartfelt you can't help but be touched by it.
There are some "corny" moments, but in the end, the message is loud and clear. Love unconditionally and with all your heart, expecting nothing in return, and with the knowledge that you never know when your time here on earth is done. Definitely bring the tissue box with you on this one.
Profile Image for JB.
1,990 reviews12 followers
August 17, 2015
I received this book as a gift from the author. If you have only one takeaway from this book, it should be the unconditional love you feel for someone else. There are lots of more takeaways, but this is the most important and in my opinion the whole reason behind the book. Luke, the dog, will guide you through finding out you have cancer to bringing your mate back from desolation and living again to providing you the happiness and understanding that you can love another person with the same unconditional love that a dog shows to its people. A heart wrenching, tearful journey of enlightenment. This book is going on my must-read list to all my friends and family. I normally say to enjoy the book, but this time all I can say is to have a box of tissues nearby, you will need them.
Profile Image for Christoph Fischer.
Author 54 books475 followers
July 29, 2016
"Luke's Tale" by Carol McKibben is an emotional and bitter sweet love story. It tells us about a couple who both deal immaturely with her cancer and about their dog that holds the two of them together.
Told from the perspective of the dog this is a pull on your heart strings that will appeal hugely to animal lovers and pet owners and will have many in tears throughout.
Sometimes too much for my liking in terms of the sentiment it redeems itself easily through the great development of the lead characters.
Profile Image for Gina Shupp.
332 reviews
October 27, 2015
Luke's Tale was a wonderful book. To me it told the story of love and how people are so easy to give up and not face what is really the issues. This story of this yellow lab brought tears to me eyes. People who do not have dogs do not realize their unconditional love. I would love to read more books from this author
Profile Image for Xena LaRose.
2 reviews
January 16, 2017
A truly beautiful story of unconditional love, narrated by a sweet family dog who is losing his eyesight and trying to keep a family together.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
85 reviews13 followers
October 16, 2013
Great book about animal's unconditional love for us.
February 3, 2017
A truly beautiful novel about a K-9 who fights to keep his family together through tragic times. Luke, the dog, narrates this story, even as he is rapidly losing his eyesight, making this all the more poignant.
March 5, 2018
Just the best

Love love love this book - wish it could rewind reading for all!!! Made me smile and made me cry....
Profile Image for Pearl Bamford.
79 reviews
January 18, 2018
I loves this book from beginning to end. This book is written from the perspective of a beloved dog. His tale of live and the way dogs are involved within our lives are highlighted. Never underestimate the power of having animals in your life.

Luke's love, devotion and unconditional love for his owners shines through and resonates with any animal lover.
March 9, 2017
A truly touching story that may require a handkerchief or two. Unconditional love shines through in this story about a family dog who starts to lose his gift of eyesight, but still manages to serve as the glue to a loving relationship.
Profile Image for Simon Okill.
Author 13 books294 followers
February 14, 2015
Luke's Tale by Carol McKibben is a heart-rending story of a couple torn apart by cancer, a couple who love each other dearly. And amazingly they are drawn together by Luke, a Labrador with a very special talent, he can understand human speech and feelings. This book will need several boxes of tissues and boy it is so well written with pure love and understanding. What a stroke of genius to write from the dog's point of view?
Marvellous novel of heart breaking poignancy that is a must read and very highly recommended.
Profile Image for Dawn.
798 reviews34 followers
August 17, 2015
I loved this book! It reminded me of one of my favorites, "The Art of Racing In the Rain". This is a story about unconditional love and told from a dog's point of view. A story that was heartwarming and at times heartbreaking too. When reading this, make sure to keep a box of tissues close by. While reading this, I kept looking at our dog Lucia and wondering what she thinks about and how much she really knows about what goes on in our home.
3 reviews
September 26, 2016
Dogs really do provide us with this unconditional love that humans can learn so much from. This sweet story is about a family pet (member) who is losing his eyesight and trying to keep a family together is a crisis. One of the best books I've read in this subject matter.
Profile Image for Barbara Collins.
280 reviews5 followers
June 17, 2017
got it for free from the author and absolutely love the book.. 5 stars.. Luke's tale is such a sad inspiring book.. must read
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews

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