I would have loved this book so much more if the main character (Ted) had not referred to his dog’s (Lily) tumor as an octopus and proceeded to talk to the octopus the whole time!!! I understand that it was symbolism or magical realism or something but it really ruined the book for me. Ted went so far as to take a boat out in the ocean to hunt down and kill an octopus. Serisously!!
That being said, the book did have some really great parts and the author is a very talented writer. It was a heart-warming and heartbreaking story about a man and his love for his dog. Having a dog that I adore myself, I could really relate to what Ted was going through. I laughed and cried.
What I loved most about the book is what it had to say about dogs and our relationships with them. Here are few excerpts:
“I think of how dogs are witnesses. How they are present for our most private moments, how they are there when we think of ourselves as alone. They witness our quarrels, our tears, our struggles, our fears, and all of our secret behaviors that we have to hide from our fellow humans. They witness without judgment.”
“The very best thing about dogs is how they just know when you need them most, and they’ll drop everything that they’re doing to sit with you awhile.”
“Most of all, I am thankful for Lily, who, since she entered my life, has taught me everything I know about patience and kindness and meeting adversity with quiet dignity and grace. No one makes me laugh harder, or want to hug them tighter.”
Dog lovers may enjoy this book, but you definitely need to have an open mind and a big imagination! I am actually kind of glad that the octopus story line ruined the book for me because I would probably have sobbed if I had been more engrossed in the story.