When you think about a summer read, maybe you expect something with thrills, romance, or gut-busting laughs? Maybe you wouldn’t usually consider a story about a man and his dachshund that very well might serve up a big helping of emotions. I wouldn’t blame you, as I know what’s usually in my beach bag. It’s almost always a number of quick thrillers with a nice dose of chick-lit thrown in for balance. But I’m here to suggest that maybe you should think about making some room for this gem of a book.
Steven Rowley’s debut novel, “Lily and the Octopus”, centers on Ted and his dog Lily. He’s had Lily for 12 years and she’s been his constant faithful companion through all of life’s ups and downs. One day he wakes up to realize an “octopus” (tumor) has taken up residency on her head. This heartbreaking realization of Lily’s looming death spurs Ted to try to fight the octopus while also trying to come to terms with losing his best friend, and ultimately, face his loneliness. It may sound sad, and it is, but it’s the most honest and true account of what it’s like to have a dog, the mistakes we can make (I can relate only too well to the anger towards a dog that won’t do her business on her nightly walk), and the pure love that is given back to us.
Rowley’s novel garnered close to a million dollar advance and I believe it’s worth every penny. I just can’t say enough about how much I loved this. Maybe I’m sentimental because my nine-year-old dog spent much of my reading time snoring next to me. But I could not have loved this book more. A total tearjerker (shocker!), but absolutely the most heartwarming book about the relationship between a dog and its owner that I’ve ever read. I vote that you grab some tissues and settle in for a wonderful read.
You can put “Lily and the Octopus” on hold in our catalog right now. If you have to wait, be sure to check out “You Might Also Like These…” at the bottom of the book’s catalog page.