A poignant and unforgettable tale of love, loss, and moving on . . . with the help of one not-so-little dog
Rocky's husband Bob was just forty-two when she discovered him lying cold and lifeless on the bathroom floor . . . and Rocky's world changed forever. Quitting her job, chopping off all her hair, she leaves Massachusetts—reinventing her past and taking a job as Animal Control Warden on Peak's Island, a tiny speck off the coast of Maine and a million miles away from everything she's lost. She leaves her career as a psychologist behind, only to find friendship with a woman whose brain misfires in the most wonderful way and a young girl who is trying to disappear. Rocky, a quirky and fallible character, discovers the healing process to be agonizingly slow.
But then she meets Lloyd.
A large black Labrador retriever, Lloyd enters Rocky's world with a primitive arrow sticking out of his shoulder. And so begins a remarkable friendship between a wounded woman and a wounded, lovable beast. As the unraveling mystery of Lloyd's accident and missing owner leads Rocky to an archery instructor who draws her in even as she finds every reason to mistrust him, she discovers the life-altering revelation that grief can be transformed . . . and joy does exist in unexpected places.
Jacqueline Sheehan, Ph.D., is a fiction writer and essayist. She is also a practicing psychologist. She is a New Englander through and through, but spent twenty years living in the western states of Oregon, California, and New Mexico doing a variety of things, including house painting, freelance photography, newspaper writing, clerking in a health food store, and directing a traveling troupe of high school puppeteers.
This book was kind of weird. I think the author had a pretty good idea for the main plot of the story: a widow who is grieving for her husband rescues a dog who is grieving for his owner. However, it seemed like she was trying too hard to make the main characters seem realistic by giving them faults and making them "quirky," and instead she succeeded in making them come across as somewhat mentally unbalanced. I had a really hard time connecting with any of them. Ultimately, the story that should have been touching, what with the relationship between the woman and the dog and their "saving" each other, ended up being a little disjointed and even disturbing at times. [I still can't quite get my mind past what she did with her dead husband's ashes!] In my opinion, the only character that had any redeeming qualities was Cooper, the black labrador retriever, and I did appreciate the fact that a couple of the chapters were from his point of view.
Opening Line: "Bob had left the food carton on the counter the night before and it now smelled of grease and fish."
As a dog lover I was enchanted by LOST AND FOUND but just about anyone will be able to find something to like within this engaging story. Filled with love, loss, adventure and even a little mystery, this is a story about the ability of the human (and dog) spirit to carry on and just what grief can reduce us to. Full of very real and charming characters, a surprising whodunit storyline and a suspense filled yet ultimately uplifting ending.
As we begin, the main character, Rocky discovers her husband lying lifeless on the bathroom floor. She tries using CPR to revive him but for Bob it's just too late. This forever sets into motion the abrupt transformation of Rocky's world. Unable to continue with her job as a psychologist (can she really help anyone while she's insane with grief?) Rocky cuts off the hair that Bob loved, takes a leave of absence and moves to a small island off the coast of Maine. There, she takes a job as Animal Control Warden. A job of which she knows nothing about but one that's thankfully a million miles from her old life.
Not having told anyone about her past Rocky is able to settle into a rather anonymous form of island life free, from the "I'm so sorrys" and concerned looks of friends. But the grieving process is proving harder than she thought and its not until she discovers a black lab with a arrow sticking out of his shoulder that the healing truly begins.
Once Lloyd enters the scene he fast becomes the focal point of the story, pulling in a host of great secondary characters; like her crotchety but compassionate boss, a pained teenager suffering with anorexia or the delightful old woman with sythesia. Rocky then begins a search for the truth behind the arrow in Lloyds shoulder. Inadvertently taking up archery in the process and getting pulled into a mystery that will endanger both her and her new canine best friend's lives.
This was a surprisingly great read with characters so real and well done that I didn't want their stories to end. Jacqueline Sheehan has also managed to capture the inner workings of a dog perfectly, giving him a unique personality. I did find it a little strange however that half way through a singular POV book she suddenly decided to add some secondary ones, almost as an afterthought. I enjoyed their perspectives though, especially Lloyds. She also repeats some of her characters back stories unnecessarily. In the end I was just glad to read a dog story without the usual heartbreaking ending (think Marley or Enzo) Cheers.
I always have a hard time writing reviews, especially with books I rate less than four stars. But I feel it's even more important to offer a review when it's low stars. So...
This was an easy read, and I think the author has more than a few good stories to share. But, the writing is not good and is the reason I could not give this book three stars. And that is saying something, because I am rarely bothered by these things. The main character (and a lot of her actions and responses) is not really believable in my opinion. I know, I know, she's grieving. However, she is a psychologist, so she is presumably a perceptive, methodical, and intelligent person, yet does a lot of really dumb, rash, weird, and rude stuff.
Also, the perspective was choppy and the dialogue was confusing at times. I even noticed a pretty bad error: the mother of the girl was named Elaine, but was later referred to as Eileen. I did enjoy the dog's role in the story, and it didn't take long to get through the book, so it wasn't a waste. I'm just not sure I would recommend it without a warning about some of the technical problems.
This book was dripping in sadness and grief. It didn’t make me weepy or a sobbing mess but I did read it with a constant pain in my chest almost the entire time. First it was for Rocky and then it was for Lloyd and later it was for the both of them! I wasn’t quite expecting to have this reaction but dog books can do that to me.
Things start out on a sad note when the author throws you headfirst into the life and grief of Rocky who has recently lost her husband to a heart attack far too early. It’s sad and her recollections of her beloved Bob are often quite funny which makes the grief hit you all that much harder. Unable to stick around in the house where she and Bob shared a life, she decides to leave her career and her life completely behind and hops a ferry in Portland, Maine and heads to Peaks Island to mourn. She reinvents herself on the island and impulsively becomes the new Animal Control Warden.
I’ve been to Peaks and it is a little slice of yesterday and I enjoyed reading about life on the island and the descriptions almost make you feel like you are there. The rest of the book follows Rocky through her grieving process as she meets new people and becomes invested in the life of an injured stray dog with sad eyes she names Lloyd. You can guess what happens between Rocky and Lloyd, right? But all doesn’t go smoothly nor does it go sweetly. Lloyd has a history that Rocky is soon sorry she’s delved into. There’s a little mystery and a lot of quirky character building. It’s a little slow here and there and took me longer to finish than it should have but I’m not sorry I read it. If you’re a dog lover you might want to put this on your list.
“He is dog. His life is ocean, stick, ball, sand, grass, ride in the truck, sleep by the bed, look deep into the eyes of humans, lure them outdoors, greet them with a burst of joy when they come home, love them. Fill this brief life with more. “
Given that this story includes a dog (Note: A dog is on the cover, so I had to buy it!), a woman in (early) mid-life, and archery -- all things I can relate to -- I thought the book was sure to be a winner for me. But I was disappointed. The characters didn't come across as fully fleshed-out human beings, but more as ideas for characters. The writing style was too simplistic for me (a bit like the reading primers of my childhood, "See Dick. See Jane. See them chase Spot.") and perhaps because of this, I didn't feel any tension or excitement during the climactic scene. In fact, I was interrupted by an unexpected visitor while I was reading this scene, and I didn't get back to it for several days. If you know me at all, you will know that, had I been "into" the book in my usual way, I would have given up food, sleep, and yes, even sex, to finish that scene!
I actually found the author's notes at the end of the book more interesting than the story. Sheehan has led a life with a variety of experiences, and in fact, is a practicing psychologist as well as a writer. (So why were these characters and their feelings not more fully explored?) I would be interested to read her first novel, a work of historical fiction about the life of Sojourner Truth, just to see how the two books compare. But for now, 2 stars for Lost and Found.
This book turned out to be so much more than I was expecting. For some reason, I thought it was going to be a light, fluffy, chick-lit read (which I love) but it proved to be much darker (in a good way). I loved the parts about synesthesia, which I find fascinating, and I thought the author did a really good job depicting the stages of grieving, including the occasional irrationality of a person (and an animal) facing a loss so deep they're not sure they'll ever return from it. Highly recommended.
I’m only 100 pages into this book and I’m already completely annoyed. To begin with, we meet the main character when she’s angry at her husband because she has to order socks. Then, she’s plunged into grief without ever having established a relationship with her husband other than being angry with him (not a spoiler if you read the first sentence of the synopsis). And, we haven’t gotten to know her well enough to feel any sympathy for this irrationally (in my opinion) angry woman.
Secondly, the author hasn’t told us what she looks like except for the length of her hair. Is she short, tall, fat or thin? What color are her eyes? Is she pretty or plain? It’s very hard to picture a character without some sort of descriptive narrative!
Thirdly, the author introduces us to the character named Tess. Then, a chapter or so later, describes her age and what she looks like naked. A chapter or so after that, a character describes Tess as “the old woman with the hair?” What hair? What the hell is she even referring to since there is no mention of hair, color, length or anything else that would qualify a person as being described that way?!
Finally (for now), there is a character called Melissa. She is named Melissa and referred to as Melissa until, out of the blue, she is referred to as Lissa…without introduction to the name and not called that by any other character. Completely out of the blue!
There are many more continuity errors and gaping holes in the character development and plot. But, the ones here are sufficient enough to get my point across without spoiling the plot.
I’m sure I’ll finish this book if for no other reason than to find out what happens to the dog. I don’t think the characters are very richly drawn but the story is mildly compelling. I just wish that an actual, professional editor had gotten their hands on this before it went to publication.
A wonderful read for dog lovers! There were definitely a few scenes where I held my breath and was very anxious, but not a tear-jerker because when the book ends, Cooper the dog is still there (not really a spoiler, because if you look up this book you will see there is a sequel called Picture This: A Novel that talks about Rocky and her loyal black lab, Cooper). I will definitely be reading the sequel, because I want to continue with the lives of Rocky, Cooper, Tess, Hill, Melissa and her mom. Really great characters that I was happy I got to know.
In the book’s opening pages, we learn that Rocky’s husband (a veterinarian) dies from a heart attack and Rocky not only lives with the grief of his death, but also with the guilt that she was unable to save him. Fast forward to Rocky relocating for a year to an island off the Maine coast where she can have a fresh start. And this is really the heart and soul of the book – new beginnings for the wounded, the disappointed, the hurt, and the confused. What I got from this book – maybe you or me can make a difference to someone; maybe someone can make a difference for you and me…dogs and cats included here! After all, if I’m ever feeling a little blue, a trip to my volunteer rescue always makes me feel better.
This is a book that you can get through quickly, and one that should warm your heart. This is not to say that there aren’t serious issues that are covered here, because there are. But friendships are formed, guards are let down and somehow it all comes together.
I read this today expecting to like it -- I mean it's a cute dog, for crying out loud.
The story is of a woman whose husband has died who finds a dog whose owner has died. The dog had been shot with an arrow which drives the woman to find out what happens.
After the books I've read over the last couple of days on topics I didn't expect to like, such as German war criminals and Jewish assassins, and horse racing, I found this was the only one I really didn't like it. It's also become the first book this year that I've given one star to. The story is boring and pointless -- what's with the random sections told in first-person from the dog's perspective? -- and I'm sorry I wasted my time on it.
Even if you love animals, I don't think you'd find much to enjoy in this book.
This book came highly recommended as "an easy read" with the promise of tenderness. I've now read the book and i don't know that i entirely agree. I think, yes - it is an easy read - but there's an issue here in maintaining interest and character-likability which effects the level of tenderness one can enjoy. I've now read the book and read the back cover over and over again and i'm still not entirely sure what the primary focus of this story was meant to be.
It begins - and i think ultimately, probably is - about loss and one woman's struggle with her grief (well described!). However, the story seems to sort of float in and out of other possible plot lines which unfortunately remain underdeveloped. And, then, it takes an entirely wild turn before wrapping up quickly with a nice little proverbial bow. If this is a story about one woman's grieving process into her living-anew process, then there are some thin story lines that don't add much and could be trimmed; if this is a story about how a small group of people manage different kinds of loss - or that all of us are suffering in some way - then i felt the sub-plots too thin, too underdeveloped.
I did enjoy the author's choice to write brief chapters from the dog's perspective - very creative and a delight (if not, at some times, repetitive). I wish there had been more woven in throughout the story.
Overall, a good beach read - an ok filler book if one is looking for something quick and different off the best-seller list. Not a poignant tale; not a life altering read - but they don't all have to be, right?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Ever lost a loved one, ever felt the claw of grief ripping your heart out? That's what happens to Rocky in LOST AND FOUND. Her husband dies at 42 and despite being a psychologist herself, she goes into a state of despair so profound she can no longer work at helping others. Instead, she moves to a small tourist island in Maine and becomes an Animal Control officer. Only one person on the island knows her story and she likes it that way. She isolates herself from her family perferring strangers, numb and only able to go through the motions of living.
Eventually she makes a friend and meets a few other people. One day she rescues a black lab with an arrow through his shoulder. She names him Lloyd and finally warms up enough to care about another living thing, a dog who's also lost and wounded.
This book has a deceptively simple narrative style, nothing to poetic or fancy, just extremely powerful descriptions of how one feels when death comes knocking.
There were a couple of flaws, one of which is a side story about a neighbor girl named Melissa and two a shift in point of view in a few chapters. However, it's still a very good book, especially if you love dogs. Lloyd, who comes to be known as Cooper, is a great character on his own. I'm a great believer in the healing power of animals.
Some very nice elements in the story, once I got over the heart-stopping fear I have of early-spouse death. I had trouble at first, but soldiered on, through the beginning and Bob's death. It was in the midst of those first pages, when Rocky is talking to a physician, who has yet to tell her that Bob did not revive, that I realized the author could phrase things. There was a sequence that described how cold she felt, and how she was shaking uncontrollably. And then she realized "this doctor was not going to offer her anything warm." I read on.
I actually chuckled at the description of the differences in when to use "fecking" and "fooking", or in how Rocky chose to honor Bob's request for how to dispose of his ashes. Loved the dog, the island, and even Tess's synesthesia (of which both my husband and I have to some degree, though more with music than Tess's everyday elements.) I also used to be an archer in my youth, so the elements of working with a bow were very familiar. And these elements were held together by a story of how hearts open and warm, and learn to live and love. Nice.
I finished this book today and I really enjoyed it. It's about a woman whose husband dies and she moves away and tries to start her life over and in the midst of all the changes she is going through, she rescues a dog, Lloyd. It's a good story, it's got a tiny bit of suspense in it, just a hint and it's well-written. There are about 4 well developed characters and I like that because then I can get to know them well and not have to worry about remembering who is who or running into a new character and wondering if we've been introduced to them yet. It's also got a few different stories going on that are all central to the main character, Rocky. I would recommend it to anyone, but especially animal lovers and anyone who has suffered a loss.
I'm about half way done...I cried in the first 4 pages of this book...I'm really liking it so far, it wasn't what I thought it was going to be, but I am still enjoying it.
I loved Lost & Found. I started the book yesterday and finished it this morning. I didn't read anything about Jacqueline Sheehan, the author, until after I had finished the book. Then it took on a different meaning, as part of it mirrored what happened to her (several things). I loved Rocky, and I loved the way the dog spoke in some of the chapters too. I have a home in southern Maine, so I was drawn to the Peaks Island connection. She captured that aspect of Maine life to perfection...how isolated, lonely, cold, etc., it is..... I had heard about this book many years ago, but didn't read it until my neighbor gave it to me. We are both dog lovers, and I don't have a dog anymore so....I loved the connection between Rocky and "Cooper/LLoyd". Nice descriptive writing...and I also enjoyed the relationship that developed between Rocky and Melissa. GREAT little summer read!
Another young widow book, better than some. Loved the dog. I especially liked her description of anorexia and of a syndrome where people attach colors or movement to words, letters or numbers. Very interesting and thoughtful. I'm giving it four stars because of those elements, not because of the main plot. What I disliked: I didn't like the ending, where the character finds a new man so easily. I also didn't like that she was so mean to the guy. Why do these books about bereavement always end with the woman finding someone else? I'd like to read a book where the woman heals, but is alone at the end, surrounded by friends and a full life.
Grieving widow. Broken hearted dog with an arrow in him. A retired physical therapist with synesthesia. An unhappy (are there any other kind) teenager with anorexia. A spiritual archery instructor. A frightening obsessive and a mysterious death (was it suicide? or murder). Add together, shake and you have this good book. Not groundbreaking in any way but a very pleasant read. I do think the writer wrote one of the more believable descriptions of grief, how it grabs you and turns all your previous beliefs about "loss" on their heads.
This book was just stupid. I got tricked into reading it by the adorable dog on the cover - don't let this happen to you :-) It was one of the most poorly written books I've read. The author tried to make big stories out of little things and it just didn't make sense a lot of the time. Uck.
I wasn’t sure about this book at first, but I ended up really liking it. The story was good & a unique one. Some of the characters were really odd &/or some of the events that took place just kind of had me scratching my head. But it ended up being a nice, heart warming story with a little bit of a mystery/thriller vibe thrown in.
An attempt at fanfiction by The Puppy with Mara Buck's Review of Lost & Found and Picture This by Jacqueline Sheehan
“I’m in love with that Cooper dog you read me about. When can we visit him? He’s got waterfront property so I know he’s rich. I need me a wealthy boyfriend, cause you sure ain’t got one. He’s one powerful dude. Lemme email him. Send him my Facebook link. I’ll send him that photo of me in the bikini. I got great legs and a fab butt. Somebody in this family’s gotta be a looker! I’m wearing my sexy collar.” The Puppy is prattling on about her dreamboat, a huge black Lab named Cooper who’s a prominent character in Jacqueline Sheehan’s two best-selling novels: Lost & Found and Picture This.
“Cooper’s a character in a book, sweetie. There’s no real Cooper. Only a pretend Cooper.” I have to be kind because her highness is hoarding my books. She already kissed the covers numerous times, but her devotion knows no limits and I’m forever vigilant.
“Then where’d they get his photos, huh? Can’t answer that, can ya? That’s one real hottie if I ever saw one. I love him more than any of my other boyfriends. I want Cooper. NOW! Where’s he at?” The Puppy hauls out her battered copy of The Maine Atlas and I know I’m in trouble.
The vagaries of Cooper and his aptitude for two-dimensional romance notwithstanding, these are terrific books.
Sheehan takes risks with that pesky likeability problem for readers of ‘women’s fiction.’ She is honest and her characters are honest and honesty can lead to some strange actions indeed. The author is a psychologist and she knows her stuff. I applaud her courage. When did we begin to give Anna Karenina a polite bottle of Seconal instead of the railroad tracks? These books don’t come quite to that extreme, but there are more than a few unsettling moments not usually found in polite society.
The books are set on Maine, but with a few striking exceptions the characters are not “of” Maine. Rather they relish that Maine of the summer people, the Maine of loons crying on the lake at camp.
Sheehan isn’t afraid to lend sensibility to an abandoned house that craves attention as well as to that special dog with a sense of his own existence. Whereas (unlike The Puppy) Cooper doesn’t actually vocalize his thoughts, Sheehan allows him to have a sense of his own existence. Dog lovers understand.
There is a thread of loyalty throughout these two novels that I find most refreshing. The marriage is a beautiful, loving one; the widow decides to become loyal to a girl who presents herself as a potential daughter of the dead husband; an elderly couple are loyal to each other as friends even post divorce; another young girl, although seriously flawed, craves loyalty in those around her, even an abandoned house senses when humans feel responsible for its welfare and, once responsible, then loyal, and then of course, there’s Cooper.
Sometimes an author is brave enough to allow herself to inhabit her own work, taking the reader by the hand along for the journey. Sheehan does take us by the hand in such a thoughtful, caring manner that I can only assume the clients of her psychological practice must treasure her! It takes skill to do this, of course, but it also takes a great deal of guts to lay yourself bare beside your characters, sharing their grief, their doubts, their foibles. There are some huge issues tackled in these novels. I suggest you introduce yourself to them, and if you’re not ready to fess up to your most private emotions, well, you (like The Puppy) can always lust after Cooper.
ARC Mailing from Harper Collins-There were some really unique qualities to this book. I loved the fact it took place on Peak’s Island. I personally have spent a vacation on Long Island which is very close to Peak’s. We passed Peak’s every time we took the ferry back and forth to Portland. Even though it might have been risky, I think the author did a good job with the portions from the dog’s point of view. No one really knows how a dog thinks, but it is interesting to get someone’s perspective as to how they think a dog’s mind works. I appreciated and loved my dog more after reading this book. I was also intrigued with the information on the synesthesia. I have never heard of that before but I think it is really interesting to be able to associate things in color. I thought Rocky’s reaction to her husbands death was expressed realistically in this book. I didn’t find the way she released his ashes to be uncommon. People react so differently to death. Reactions that are very personal and considered odd or outside the norm is probably more common than we think. The character development and story line of this book was pretty good but choppy in some aspects. I think the characters of Melissa and Peter could have been expanded a bit. Did Melissa really begin to come to grips with her anorexia? And if her mother had even an inkling of something wrong, why didn’t she take her to a doctor or psychologist? Peter obviously represented the dark side of the story line. I thought the obsession with Lloyd was a bit too far fetched. He didn’t want the dog so why was he so intense on stealing him? Overall I thought this book was pretty good and I would definitely recommend it to other readers.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Though I have read many more complex pieces of fiction and non-fiction during the past year, this recent read spoke to me in a very special way. When Rocky Pelligrino finds herself suddenly widowed, she does not return to her career as a college campus psychologist. Rather, she packs up her old Gremlin and leaves her old life behind as she struggles to find meaning in her altered life. After reinventing herself as an animal-control warden on Peak Island, Maine, she assembles an eclectic inner circle of new friends. Despite the many characters entering her life- from a minister-turned-director of public works, to an anorexic teen and her mother, to the multi-faceted Tess, a physical therapist who experiences synesthesia- one unique character speaks to Rocky’s healing the most. Lloyd, a 90-pound black Lab presents himself with a potentially mortal wound, an arrow in his shoulder. During his time of physical rehabilitation, Rocky and the other town members pull together not only to help one another, but also to unravel the mysteries both of Lloyd’s injury and his former owner’s death. Though this novel is an entertaining, easy read, I found myself slowing down to savor the language of the dog-lover’s descriptions of Lloyd. As the parent of Labs, Sheehan’s words grabbed me. “Be careful, (Lloyd) has just given you the look. When Labs give people the look, it is a powerful, mind-altering drug that makes you think you have been personally locked into a soul contract,” Rocky is warned. Indeed! Great descriptions of dogs and their people as tied to a good plot made this a compelling read, earning it an easy ‘five paws up.’
I'm not ashamed to admit that cover art plays a fairly large part in my decision-making process when choosing a new book to read. Unless it's one that has received glowing reviews, I generally ignore the ugly, generic covers that show only the title and author's name against a colorful background. Likewise, a sappy cover, even one with a cute puppy, rarely gets more than a passing glance. So how in the world did Lost & Found wind up on one of my bookshelves? It all but screams "sentimental fluff," don't you think? But someone must have raved about this book and I'm glad I listened. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the novel, coming to care about Rocky almost as much as I did Lloyd.
On being a dog:
But in this life, he is dog. His life is ocean, stick, ball, sand, grass, ride in the truck, sleep by the bed, look deep into the eyes of humans, lure them outdoors, greet them with a burst of joy when they come home, love them. Fill this brief life with more. And more.
Do you judge books by their covers? I wonder how many great books I've passed up simply because I didn't like the cover art. Conversely, I know I've been disappointed on more than one occasion when I've chosen a book for its gorgeous cover. I've become quite a sucker for books about dogs, and in spite of the cutesy cover, this one didn't disappoint. While not the same caliber as The Art of Racing in the Rain or The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Lost & Found is a step above brain candy and I quickly devoured it in just a few short days. There were a few loose ends, but overall, it was very enjoyable. I look forward to reading more by Sheehan. Recommend!
Did not finish. Alas, I just couldn't take the inaccuracies in this book and quit after about 65 pages. It's about a woman from Massachusetts whose husband dies suddenly, so she runs off to Peaks Island in Maine and randomly gets hired on as their "dog warden". I thought this might be interesting since I actually work as an animal control officer in Maine....which was the problem I had. Dog warden? They're not called that in Maine; we're called animal control officers. Peaks Island wouldn't just randomly hire one, since they're part of the city of Portland, and so their animal control officer would be hired through Portland. The name "dog warden" would be confusing because Maine's wildlife officers are called "game wardens", which have the same authority as police officers. Then I thought, "Well, maybe this was published a long time ago, and maybe years back Peaks Island had their own ACO that they colloquially called a dog warden...." I checked the publish date: 2007, which is ironically the year that I was hired as an ACO. *sigh*
The acknowledgements at the beginning of this book show that the author spoke to some animal control officers from Massachusetts, but I guess she might have been better off talking to some people with Maine experience before setting the book in Maine?
Have you ever read a book that you didn't even know you needed? One that was emotionally charged and full of loss, full of the rawness of grief? But nonetheless, you read it, and you saw things within it that were necessary for you to contemplate? Things you recognized? Things you had experienced, but had avoided facing?
Well, this was one of those for me. Maybe seeing common experiences with loss and its unwelcome companion grief was healing. But, the author definitely has "been there" herself or has been near (and dear) to someone else who has been unable to find their way toward the light on their own. I'm just pretty glad I took a chance on this book. It didn't hurt that a lot of the story's healing came from a four-legged canine angel named Cooper, either. For me, it is my own beloved furry angel on Earth, my Sadie.
It never ceases to amaze me when reading a story that has an animal in it that my heart swells. This author did an amazing job with connecting it in the best way one can. With a lot of give and take and seeking out the best ways to express a dogs feelings and concerns. The grief that looms over our main character is a reaper over our heads most of the story but it isn't what's front and center, it's everyone growing as a whole and working through issues to become better people and animals that I loved so dearly about this one. Would definitely recommend. It's about overcoming life, learning, love and a bit of mystery and thriller added to the mix. 4.5 stars
If I could give this book a negative rating, I would! Horrible on so many levels. Characters were not likeable and extremely maudlin, perhaps maudlin is too strong of words as these characters were emotionally dead. I stopped reading when the anorexic girl bent over and ate 3 pieces of dog food from the dog food bowl. I really tried, but the author lost me right there. Actually put this book in the recycle bin.
This book had some weird sexual moments,and some just plain weird moments, but I still enjoyed it. I actually found myself looking for the random weird parts. The story itself isn't too bad though, and the writing is definitely up to scratch. I love the dog on this front cover, it was what made me want to read this book in the first place. Enjoyable book, three and a half to four stars!