Dog Days by Ericka Waller

This book has been on my shelf for quite some time, since it was kindly sent to me by a lovely Bookstagram buddy. However, as soon as I saw that Ericka Waller is one of the guests at the next ‘Book Taster Live’, I knew I had to make it a priority on the tbr pile.

This book is an emotional rollercoaster of a read, but is also a true love letter to our canine friends. We meet three very different characters: George, a rather grumpy old man who has just lost his wife of 50 years; Dan, who has spent a lot of his time as a counsellor helping others, but has not always helped himself, and Lizzie, who appears to have left an abusive relationship to protect herself and her son. They are three very different characters, with their own struggles in life, but they all know the love a good dog provides – that constant companion that is alway by their side, whatever life throws at them.

I really enjoyed this book because, despite tackling some very difficult topics such as grief and mental health, it is done with care from the first page. The characters are so beautifully created that you feel like you are on their journeys with them, and that they are real people – and the dogs are all just as important characters, as they offer the emotional support to our three lead characters. There are some surprises along the way as you discover why George, Dan and Lizzie are quite as they are and you follow them as they get to where they need to be. It is like three stories in one, even though the characters are a little more connected than they may realise.

I could not put this down; I was always invested in finding out more about George, Dan and Lizzie – and hoping that each would find their happy ending. Or, at least, would find what they needed to be able to, to reach a happy ending or find closure on something that they need to leave in the past and move forward.

This is such a clever concept of a book, as there is so much amongst its pages about what it is to be human, to love, to lose and to have a constant and loyal companion (even if George does not even know that is exactly what he needs). I will be sharing this book with others, as I think it is a book that will mean something different to each reader. And I am now really looking forward to the chance to meet Ericka Waller at the next Book Taster Live event.

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