This book can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.
Why is it that every dog book that I read leaves me in tears? I am a huge dog lover so I am always drawn to this kind of book even though I know that I will be a mess before it is over. But the journey is usually worth it in the end and this book was no exception. So many things in this book reminded me of my own special dogs and I really enjoyed getting to know Lily and Ted.
My sweet Hershey
Lily is a dachshund and more importantly, Ted's best friend. They have been through so many things together during their 12 years together. They have a routine and enjoy their time together. This story takes you through so many of their milestones with each other including Lily's adoption, Ted's relationships, and health issues. I loved Lily and Ted's conversations with each other and could totally relate to them since I often converse with my own dog pack.
I spent most of this book being reminded of all of the dogs that I have been lucky enough to have in my life. I grew up with my Tiger dog who turned out to be a wonderful dog that I still love immensely even though she has been gone for over 20 years. As an adult, Hershey blessed my life. I was able to have her for a best friend for 13 ½ amazing years. She was a very intelligent Golden Retriever Rottweiler mix and the perfect member of our family. She died in September 2015 and we still miss her so very much. We currently have 3 dogs in our family. Our Cookie is a Chow mix that is still going strong at 12 years of age. We added two puppies to the mix in late 2015 and our Stella and Molly are still keeping me on my toes.
Michael Urie was a fantastic narrator for this story. He did such a great job with both Ted and Lily's voices. I have to say that they way he delivered Lily's lines were exactly how I would imagine my dogs would talk...you know, if they could talk. This was an emotional story and he really captured all of that emotion. I honestly don't know how he managed to deliver parts of this book without breaking down because I had tears streaming down my face just from listening to it.
There were some parts that I didn't care for as much. Some of the parts involving the octopus just seemed to pull me out of the story. I was always able to jump back in when the book switched gears but it would lose me a bit during those scenes. That is really my only complaint regarding the book and it is really just that the book chose to go in a direction that I wouldn't have went.
I would highly recommend this book to others. I do think that the audio is a fantastic way to experience this story and do recommend it. I did make the mistake of listening to this book at work. I quickly figured out that I had to stop and finish it at home or I would have been a blubbering mess at the office. So choose your listening or reading place well...and bring tissues. I would definitely read more from Steven Rowley in the future.
Damn. I really didn't want to cry. Why do books about dogs always make me cry?
Source: audible purchase
Thank you to the publisher for the ARC. It was compelling me, and still staring at me at the end of my shift, and I decided to read this book. I did so of my own volition and no one contacted me at any point, not to leave a review, much less a positive one.
And once I started, it still just compelled me. With a lot of short sentences, this manages to be truly poetic. The cadence after a while is calming, lulling, partly because the words, and the sentiments, are so beautiful.
This is a memoir of a young man who is diagnosed with ALS, and yet it's so much more. It's a musing on life, without giving concrete answers. It's one man's journey from grief, to hope, from the diagnoses of death to living with the specter of death, but also living life fully.
It's a book that flows through past, and the present, to create a full picture of a life full of love and support. It's gorgeously written, an even more impressive feat when you realize it's written with an eye gaze computer. (Which is also how he's directing movies, now.)
This was a hard read in so many ways, and I found myself crying at more than one point. Sometimes out of sadness, but more times than I expected out of happiness. When his wife stands by him, when he finds ways to connect with his young children, when he decides he can not only live but still do the work he loves. Small moments. Moments from the past that you know won't be repeated as control is stripped from him, something that is made clear from the back of this book.
I wanted to read more by him, but alas, there is no more. His wife has a book coming out, another memoir, and I plan on checking it out as well.