Sometimes the dogs we rescue… also rescue us.
A heart-wrenching and beautiful story perfect for dog lovers everywhere. Fans of A Dog’s Purpose, The Art of Racing in the Rain and Marley and Me will be utterly entranced by this gorgeous page-turner.
Madison knows her fourteen-year-old daughter Abbie is struggling. She wishes she could give Abbie stability, the promise of a forever home in Millbury, but she is scared to stay in one town for too long, and every day Abbie seems more anxious. Until a chance encounter with a beautiful, boisterous golden retriever puppy called Duke changes everything…
Duke bounces into the community centre where Madison is working and when Abbie meets him she stops pacing the room. Duke is tugging his owner, seventy-five-year-old Arthur, along for the ride, and instantly Madison sees a way she and Arthur can help each other. She offers to train Duke so that Abbie gets to see him, and from that moment the four of them become a family.
Madison finally feels like she has a second chance at life and a reason to stay in town, but when her past catches up with her they are all at risk. Duke may have united this family, but will he be able to keep them together?
A reminder of the unbelievable bonds we form with the dogs in our lives. No matter how broken you are, the unconditional love of a dog can piece you back together.
Casey Wilson has woven together a delightful novel that features the intelligent and insightful golden pup, Duke. Abandoned, Duke finds his way to an older man, Arthur, who is grieving the recent loss of his wife. Duke’s presence in Arthur’s life helps him begin to find life again and soon he is the link that brings together newcomer Madison and her daughter Abbie to help fill part of the void in Arthur’s life.
The author does an outstanding job of drawing the reader in. Duke was a little more humanlike than I typically enjoy, but his soulful insight into the humans around him and his role to help them is absolutely heartwarming. The developing mutual love and friendship between Arthur, Madison, and Abbie is a lovely example that sometimes we choose our family.
I was fascinated by the character of Abbie. She’s described as having obsessive compulsion disorder and anxiety, and yet, I was convinced she was autistic. Perhaps that’s my projection since I have a teenage son who is autistic and I’m a special education teacher. But it wasn’t just the odd behaviors and social interactions with others that left me feeling that way. I have seen the impact of animals on children with autism and Abbie’s connection with Duke and his ability to calm her is very similar to what I’ve seen with my own son and other children.
I loved this novel and I found it difficult to put down even for a moment. This was exactly the type of sweet and inspiring novel I needed as we continue to deal with the things going on in today’s world. The plot is simplistic and idealistic, and I feel that sometimes those are the types of stories a bookworm like needs to keep us hopeful and inspired. I look forward to reading more by this author.
I encourage anyone who is a dog lover or who enjoys heartwarming tales of finding yourself, your family, and your purpose to read this book.
Reviewer’s note: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.