Friday 7 August 2015

Book ~ "The Dog Who Danced" (2012) Susan Wilson

From Goodreads ~ "My name is Justine Meade and in my forty-three years there have only been a handful of people that I have loved. No, that's an exaggeration. Two. Two that I lost because of stupidity and selfishness. One was my son. The other was my dog." 

If there's been a theme in Justine Meade's life, it's loss. Her mother, her home, even her son. The one bright spot in her loss-filled life, the partner she could always count on, was Mack, her gray and black Sheltie; that is, until she is summoned back to her childhood home after more than twenty years away. 

Ed and Alice Parmalee are mourning a loss of their own. Seven years after their daughter was taken from them, they're living separate lives together. Dancing around each other, and their unspeakable heartbreak, unable to bridge the chasm left between them. Fiercely loyal, acutely perceptive and guided by a herd dog's instinct, Mack has a way of bringing out the best in his humans. Whether it's a canine freestyle competition or just the ebb and flow of a family's rhythms, it's as though the little Shetland Sheepdog was born to bring people together.

Justine didn't have a very good childhood.  Her mother had died when she was young and her father married their neighbour, Adele, soon after.  They moved into Adele's house and Justine could do nothing right.  She got married, had a baby and became a single mom while in her early twenties.  Now in her forties, all Justine has is her dog named Mack.  When her stepmother calls her to come home because her father is dying, she can't afford a flight so hitches a ride with a cranky trucker named Artie.  He bails on her along the way.  When he realizes Mack is in the truck, he drops him off in the middle of nowhere.  Justine must make her way to be with her father while trying to track down Artie and Mack.

Alice and Ed are in their sixties and were torn apart seven years ago by a tragedy.  They live in the same house but don't communicate.  They find Mack and take him in, and get attached to him.  Their mutual love for Buddy (aka Mack) may bring them back together.

This is the second book I've read by this author and I really enjoyed it. I was attracted to this book because it's about a dog (and I love dogs).

I liked the writing style ... I found it was well-paced and moved along well.  It is written from different points of view ... it's first person from Justine's perspective and third person when it is from Artie's, Ed's, Alice's and even Mack/Buddy's perspective.  The story jumps back and forth from the past to the present but it was obvious what the timeline was.

I liked the characters. I found their emotions believable. Justine's pain and fear were obvious when she was trying to find out what happened to Mack.  Plus she's dealing with the possible death of her father and having to deal with the feelings from the past.  Alice and Ed were still dealing with the tragedy from seven years ago and not doing a good job of it.

 This was an excellent story and I recommend it!  I look forward to reading more from this author.

No comments: