YOU’VE! GOT! TO! READ! THIS! BOOK! (and you’ll appreciate how beautiful the grammar of that statement is once you do.)
I just finished reading a great book, and I can’t go another second without telling you all about it. Seriously, it was that good. Heart-warming, funny, thoughtful and just a little bit weird – Lily and the Octopus was the perfect book for me to read to kick off the new year.
If there is anything you need to know about me, it’s that I love dogs, I love reading, and I love crying. Well, maybe I don’t love crying, but I cry at just about everything. Especially when “everything” is dogs. Lily and the Octopus had me in tears as soon as the end of the first chapter, and I took that as a good sign.
If you don’t like crying, I don’t recommend this book to you – but if you don’t mind, you’re in for a treat.
I remember once in a playwriting class I wrote a monologue about my dog who had just died as a writing exercise . One of my classmates, instead of offering constructive criticism on the style or form of the monologue, just wrote, “No one cares about your dog.” OK. Thanks. It was pretty crushing – maybe no one else cared about my dog, but my dog mattered a lot to me! I wanted people to enjoy my writing, but I also wanted to write about things that mattered to me; it was hard to find balance between the two.
Steven Rowley has 100% succeeded in what I couldn’t figure out. As it turns out, I didn’t need to convince one grumpy guy that my dog’s death was worth writing about. People who get it just get it, and that’s enough. My hypothesis is that the relationship between a man and his dog in the book is so complex that it transcends whether or not someone likes dogs – the book is all about their relationship, not what species they are. I know how hard it is to say goodbye to a dog, and this book brought me back to that place in a really cathartic way. If you’re more of a cat person, you’ll have to let me know what you think of this book so that I can test my hypothesis!
I liked this book so much that I was grumpy walking it back to the library. I stood by the return box for a little while before gently dropping it in and bidding it adieu with a, “Bye, Lily.”
Have you read anything good yet in 2017? Let us know in the comments!
Peace and love,