Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Warning: this is a book about a dog.  As most dog books, it follows the canine throughout its entire life, which includes his death.  It's not the climax of the story, but it's mentioned, and you should prep yourself for that as necessary.
Nelson is a beagle/poodle mix adopted by a young couple as they begin navigating the sometimes rocky terrain of marriage.  Katey, a concert pianist, never wavers in her devotion to her dog, although her husband, Don, strays from both Nelson and Katey.  One afternoon, Don leaves the front yard gate open and Nelson escapes on a search for Katey, who is traveling for a piano concert; this takes Nelson on a journey across the country, as he wonders farther and farther from his home.  The entire book is told from Nelson's perspective, meaning there is no dialogue (so there's none of that Homeward Bound situation going on); it almost feels like a silent movie in novel format.  It's lovely to hear about Nelson's life on the road with a lonely trucker, how he ends up in a veterinary clinic in middle America, his time with a wolf pack, and finally being found by a loving boy and his father in California.  Throughout this journey, Nelson never loses sight of his main goal: to be reunited with Katey.
Alan Lazar is actually a composer, and he wrote this book with 7 short piano pieces that you can play from Youtube or your phone at certain points in the story.  This book won't change your life or make you think philosophically, but it's really heartwarming (not a phrase I use lightly) and a great read for an afternoon on the couch with, who else?, your canine companion.  Mia certainly got lots of extra attention while I was reading through it!

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