Dog Days is an exceptional story following three people who all have a burden to bear. Each tale is tragic but beautiful, and written with such poise and precision that it is no wonder the readers on Twitter can’t stop talking about it.
Author of this stunning book, Ericka Waller, lives in Brighton with her husband, three daughters and pets. She formerly worked as a blogger and columnist. This novel sums up everything she has come to know about love, and how dogs truly can help to heal any wound.
George is livid. His wife has gone and died on him, leaving him to look after not only himself, but a dachshund puppy she bought shortly before her passing. All he wants to do is listen to his cricket and be alone, but it seems he won’t be allowed to do either.
Lizzie lives in a women’s refuge with her son, Lenny. Her body is covered with scars and reminders of her past, which sticks to the forefront of her mind like glue. Her past isn’t something she wants to confront, but after being forced to walk the shelter’s chubby terrier Maud, Lizzie realises that everything must be dealt with in time.
Dan is a counsellor with OCD. He makes a living out of helping others, but can never seem to take his own advice and lives as a bit of a shaky mess. His most intimate relationship is with his labrador Fitz; until one therapy session changes his life forever.
Dog Days follows these three people, each with a dog to care for and personal issues to confront. Throughout this novel, Waller weaves in the importance of not only dogs but people too, and how they can both really push us to be the best versions of ourselves.
So, what did I think?
After reading this book, I honestly had to sit back for a moment and take it all in. The story was perfectly paced; each character had such heartache and pain to contend with, and every single page breathed purposed and reason.
Each character gets just the right amount of time devoted to them, and the writing style changes ever so slightly when a different character takes centre stage, which is impressive.
The novel retains a matter-of-fact writing style too, and makes the book that much more brilliant. Many things that occur in this amazing novel are things that cannot be controlled, so the factual narration works wonderfully.
I adored each page, occasionally tearing up, more so towards the end. Every single page is a reminder that life is short and we must find the wonder within it; whether this comes from a furry friend, or pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
At every revelation, Waller shows but doesn’t tell, which allowed me to connect the dots early on in the story. This was the perfect way to write this novel, making the reader’s heart beat faster every time the coin dropped.
This book is a true triumph, as it incorporates almost every feeling you can have. Things seem to look up, then don’t work out, hope rears its head again, and the dogs are there every step of the way. This novel reflects life perfectly and Waller has done a fantastic job at weaving a story that genuinely made my heart hurt and my eyes water.
Over the course of the book you get to know each character better, and through Waller’s wonderful writing you can very nearly place yourself in the position of each person. This novel does hit you with sadness and shock, but that only makes the joyful moments even more so.
Dan, Lizzie and George have all faced hardship, but in such different ways and it is a joy to read; the ending was a rollercoaster of emotions and I loved every page. The way their stories are left is fantastic; Waller can definitely write a brilliant ending.
Dog Days is the perfect book. Life can be hard, and sometimes you make mistakes, big or small. The novel is filled with melancholic moments and events that punch you in the gut; it has that perfect, simple plot with the added company of dogs – absolutely brilliant.
Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal
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