Before You Loved Me by Samantha Gregson

Neither Time Nor Space

Before You Loved Me by Samantha Gregson is the most beautiful contemporary novel about Maltese The Buddy Dog. I absolutely adored the book. This is a real treat for animal lovers everywhere. The Buddy Dog is based on the author’s own dog.

The story is about being rescued. The Buddy Dog is rescued several times and he is also responsible for the rescues of two humans.

The Buddy Dog had a terrible start in life and then he was rescued. He formed a beautiful bond with eleven year old Sara – and then life intervened.

The Buddy Dog knows all about bad homes and bad owners. He recognizes the badness in others and knows just who needs rescuing – whether it’s another dog, a rabbit or a human. The Buddy Dog has a huge heart, full of compassion. He is looking to give love and to be loved. He still believes in goodness even when he is alone. “Buddy wasn’t broken by his abuse. He learned to trust again.”

There is grief within the novel as Sara lost her Mum and she fears “if I don’t talk about her, I’m worried I’ll forget her.” Our loved ones live on in our hearts.

Grief hurts deeply. “Grief is not a disorder or an illness to be fought. It is the price we pay for love.” Love is always worth taking a chance on.

Hope is important. “When you no longer fear what’s next… it means you’ve lost hope… Never lose hope.” Without hope, we perish.

We see the diminishing of a character through emotional abuse and gaslighting. It takes strength to stand up for oneself.

The novel is written in the first person through the eyes of The Buddy Dog. Samantha Gregson has perfectly captured The Buddy Dog with her words. We feel like he is really speaking. We learn about the importance of smell to see who is a truly good character and who isn’t.

I adored Before You Loved Me. The Buddy Dog is a beautiful soul who when he loves, loves unconditionally.

Before You Loved Me is Samantha Gregson’s debut novel. I hope she writes much more.

I received a free copy via Book Sirens. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


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