My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is Janet’s story. It’s a very sweet story about a puppy, but even more, it is a story about people.
Janet has no intention of getting a dog for her son, in spite of frequent requests from the time he is old enough to phrase the question.
The first chapters deal with why Janet feels the why she does about Michael having a dog– her love for animals that influenced him from when he was young; her history with beloved family dogs; and (most of all) the problems with a dog in a New York apartment and two very busy parents.
Then comes Janet’s cancer ordeal, which leads her to change her mind, and decide Michael needs the love and stability a dog would provide in his life.
Notice, so far Michael is peripheral to the story, and Huck doesn’t enter the story until about 1/4 of the way in. This is primarily Janet’s story, framed by her son, his dog, and a lot of other people. And that’s OK.
As soon as Huck arrives on the scene, everyone in the book falls in love with him. I’m more of a cat person than a dog person, but I could see the appeal of this puppy!
The book continues through Huck’s integration into their lives, and then their first vacation without him, leaving him in the loving hands of family members. The book follows the family’s reaction to Huck’s disappearance, and the experience of searching for him.
The story had me tearing up over and over again, although never quite crying. One page I’d be tearing up because of her cancer diagnosis, then because of all the help she received from others. The book goes back and forth on this emotional trip. I occasionally wondered if it would start to feel manipulative, but it never crossed that line for me.
As I read this book, I kept thinking that it would make an excellent gift for animal lovers and for those that like being reminded about the good in our world. Read it yourself, or keep it in mind for a holiday gift, even for those that aren’t dedicated readers.
I received this book for review from the publisher. Thank you to Broadway for this opportunity.