Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Two Good Dogs - 1st Book Review of 2018 - Two Good Dogs by Susan Wilson

11:37 a.m.

At some point and time in my life, I listened to Susan Wilson's One Good Dog on audiobook.  I think.
This is why I have a love hate relationship with audiobooks.
I can't remember anything.
I know I enjoyed it, and I know that the dog's voice was one of my favorite parts of the book...but when I don't have the book book...I remember just enough to drive me bonkers.

One Good Dog is a story of redemption.
Adam March should be happy with all the trappings of life that he's set in motion for himself.
Yet, as life goes...he's not.
One day he flips out and loses everything.
Through community service and the love and need of a dog, he begins to find himself and set a much better life in motion.

Two Good Dogs is Wilson's continuation of that story.
Adam's life is much changed, and he and Chance the pit bull have gone through a lot together and are still actively in recovery with Chance being trained as a therapy dog to assist Adam when he needs it most.
Adam meets Skye Mitchell and her 14 year old daughter through his new work with start ups.
Skye is herself a survivor of an abusive relationship and husband (Cody's father) who was involved with drugs.

As is suggested by the title, there is, of course, another dog as well.
And a young street kid named Mingo who is in desperate need of guidance (although he doesn't know it and wouldn't admit it anyway).
Skye's daughter is a survivor of a crime.  She's witnessed a murder, but her mom doesn't know it.

There's a lot going on in this book.
Maybe too much.

Now, overall, I loved it...because I love the dogs...and I love the advocacy parts.  
But gracious, the story had so many offshoots that I really felt could have been developed more.  
Any one of them could have made a novel.  

child endangerment
drug use and abuse in rural areas
young adult focus
murder mystery
hiding in plain site
rekindling an old inn
dog fighting
2nd chances
teenage daughters
single parenting
street kids

I couldn't help but feel that Wilson had a lot of ideas for this book but maybe couldn't decide which one she wanted to stick to so she threw in a smattering of all of them?  

The chapters are interspersed with the narrative and Chance's voice.
Chance's voice is the one I liked best.
No surprise there.
I couldn't help but wonder if Wilson has ever thought about writing a novel from the dog's perspective...something akin to Rita Mae Brown's Sneaky Pie series?

I would read for sure!

Here's just a smattering of Chance's voice:

The unhappy girl seems tense to me as she takes my seat.  I'm happy to sit in the back, give her the priority seating even I am rarely afforded.  Even though Adam keeps up a stream of tongue language, she does little more than give him back one word at a time. Words I know. Yeah.  Fine. Good.  I can sense Adam's growing regret that he's allowed this creature in our space.  Although I have only limited experience, I find teenage girls to be mysterious, more like cats.  73

My friend has no permanent name, so he's called by a number of things: Buddy, Pal, Bub.  I get a little confused sometimes because I've been called all of those endearments at one time or another, although Adam maintains Bud exclusively for me.  A distinction, I know, but one that is important to me.  I want to always be his Bud.  We've seen a lot together.  My new friend respects that, and that's why he's such a joy.  This guy, Buddy-Pal-Bub, has breached my natural reserve.  It's like we were once littermates, now reunited.  105-106

Dawg should have gone with us.  I fear that he will spend most of his time in the pen that they built, not a cage, exactly, certainly not a chain, but not a home.  I worried myself into squeezing my head over the edge of the half-lowered car window, barking like some undisciplined cur, calling to Lucky to keep the faith.  We'll be back! 234

I'd left Adam sitting on the couch, holding an object in front of his face and touching it gently every few minutes.  I think it's called a book, but don't quote me. 315

  Final Words:  You do need to be a dog lover for this one...without that perspective, I'm afraid this story will leave you short.  


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