Publication date – 20 November 2014
“One man. One dog. One big love. The perfect novel for anyone who loves MARLEY AND ME, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE or ONE DAY.
No-one ever called Dan a pushover. But then no-one ever called him fast-track either. He likes driving slowly, playing Sudoku on his iPhone, swapping one scruffy jumper for another. He’s been with Clara for four years and he’s been perfectly happy; but now she’s left him, leaving nothing but a long letter filled with incriminations and a small, white, almost hairless dog, named Doggo. So now Dan is single, a man without any kind of partner whether working or in love. He’s just one reluctant dog owner. Find a new home for him, that’s the plan. Come on…everyone knows the old adage about the best laid plans and besides, Doggo is one special kind of a four legged friend…and an inspiration.”
4 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the publishers and this is my honest opinion of the book.
Dan arrives home to a letter from his girlfriend, Clara. He finds she has left him, vanishing and not telling family and friends where she has gone. She has taken most of her belongings but has left behind one, her rescue dog, currently known as Doggo, until a better name comes along. Dan attempts to return Doggo but on learning he would only be taken back if ‘certain parts were missing’ he changes his mind. Dan, currently unemployed, finds a job that will also accept Doggo. Soon the rescue dog alters Dan’s view of the world and brings welcome changes to his life, helping him learn to love again.
This is a lovely novel. I soon found myself charmed by Dan and Doggo and was wrapped up in their tale. It is only a short novel, just 213 pages and I found myself zooming through it.
Dan is a great character, someone who has flaws but recognises them. He appears to be easy-going, intelligent and funny and I was left wondering what Clara was looking for elsewhere. Mark Mills manages to convey Clara as a not very nice character in a short letter and brief mentions by other characters. His strength at creating well rounded characters continues in the rest of the story, Edie is lovely, Tristan, not so much and J adds an element of comedy. The standout character is of course Doggo, an ugly mutt who works his way into everyone’s hearts and who’s own story is touching.
Overall this is heart-warming, filled with love, laughter and friendship in all its forms. My only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough.
Mark Mills is also the author of The Whaleboat House, The Secret Garden and The Long Shadow. Having only read The Secret Garden I can say this is different from that novel but continues to show his story-telling ability. I look forward to reading more from him in the future.