I love a good book about the relationship between humans and dogs and Steven Rowley communicates this unique bond with such affection and accuracy.
Ted is a lonely man who lives with his dog -Lily- she is his world- his everything. Although Lily is ageing- their relationship is stronger than ever. Then something awful happens- one night Ted finds an octopus over Lily's eye. The story follows the next six months where Ted and Lily try to fight the octopus and make it leave so they can return to normality.
If you've ever owned a dog or do now you'll be able to relate to this novel; the company, the love, the challenges, the loss- it's all wrapped up in this book.
Even Lily has her own dialogue- there were so many times I thought my dog was about to say something to me so to imagine this to be true was a wonderful world to journey into.
This book is a lesson in letting go and the acceptance that people and animals come and go. That we must treasure them when they are here and also learn to love again once they are gone. That some come to us when we need them most and leave when we are ready to move on- even if we don't know we are ready.
It's not often I cry at a book- but this left a real lump in my throat. It is obvious that Rowley owns a dog and has done in the past because he writes about Lily in a way that's universally familiar to pet owners.
I particularly liked the magical realism element in this book as Ted fantasized about ways of killing the octopus which led to a very exciting few chapters towards the end of the novel.
This was a heartfelt, sweet and very emotional read- however one with an important message attached to it and I am very excited to read more of Rowley's work.