Yes, my first book review is a chick-lit novel about pairing lonely and unhappy people with equally lonely and unhappy dogs! I know, if you have a degree in literature it is not a kind of a read that you want anyone to see you reading on the train or in your office during the lunch break. But it is all kinds of great! The author Lucy Dillon, has written 6 books so far, and according to the Goodreads reviews, you might also want to check ‘The Ballroom Class’.
Imagine the following: you are flying to Tenerife for a ten days holiday and you have only half of an afternoon to pack… You put your swimsuit, then another one, a few cute dresses and some sandals, and think…well, that’s about it! No book in sight. Luckily, the hotel we were staying at had a ‘take it or leave it’ book shelf going on, so naturally, I was all over it! Among the ominous crime stories and the non-fiction history books and alike, my choice was either this or something in German but then I would have to open my dictionary on every page…. No, no, no… Give me that dog story!!!
Do not get confused when you start reading the book and in each chapter there is a different protagonist, because pretty soon, their faiths intertwine. Rachel, a London-based business woman, finds out that her strange aunt had died and left her an estate in the countryside. Moreover, Rachel also got a boarding kennels and a dozen of dogs. To make things even more complicated, Rachel had just got out of a 10-year affair with a married man, and she also left her job. But soon a tall dark stranger enters her life and turns it upside down, which is exactly what she needs. The tall dark stranger is her late aunt’s favourite dog called Gem. Other lonely hearts include a handsome local doctor (I cannot recall his name), a sweet couple trying to have a baby, Natalie and Johnny, and lastly a single mum with two young boys, called Zoe. And guess what? All of them get dogs! Yes. There is this pairing up skill runs in the family, aunt Dot had it and Rachel seems to have it. Based on a few questions and their own gut feeling, they can tell you what dog breed would make your best companion.
To be honest, I would not have liked the book that much if it wasn’t for the fury friends. Truth be told, the characterisation was great and the storyline is solid. Especially the complex relationship between Natalie and Johnny, a happy couple that is trying to get a baby, is moving and emotional. I also enjoyed that little touch of mystery as well, when Rachel starts disentangling her late aunt’s complicated past by reading old letters and looking at old photos. These scenes were described with such a dedication to details and were a joy to read.
The book’s got a 4-star rating on Goodreads, and though I would not pick it up at a bookshop, I enjoyed reading it. I have always loooooved dogs and it bothers me that we have a ‘No pets’ policy in our building. This novel has made me think about volunteering at a local dogs’ rescue center. But I still wonder what dog would I be paired up with?! Hm….