Dog Days by Ericka Waller

Navigating Life

Dog Days by Ericka Waller is a powerful contemporary novel that follows characters through the battle fields of life. It is heartbreaking, and also inspiring, showing the strength of the human spirit.

As the title suggests, dogs feature in the novel. For each human character, there is a canine companion who is unswervingly loyal, very perceptive, and who help their humans through some difficult days.

All the characters are uniquely drawn. They are likable and believable, bringing out empathy within the reader.

We meet newly widowed George who has had the light go out in his life. “He’s furious with Ellen for dying.” George has to learn to live again. He has to learn that it is okay to smile again. His wife of forty years, knew just what George would need and therefore left him little notes in some of the most unusual places. “It doesn’t hurt less exactly, it just is, and there is nothing George can do about it.” Grief never goes away but exists side by side with life.

A character is struggling with life. Outwardly his life is sorted, but inwardly he is crumbling. He lacks confidence and struggles to be his true self. His canine companion offers unfailing love and support.

The other lead character lives with her six year old son, in a women’s refuge. The women come from all walks of life, united by their need to escape their situations. What we learn about the character comes as a shock. The women are all very generous with the little they have. “These women had lost everything… and still they bled human kindness. With nothing left to give, they offered immunity.”

As we follow the characters navigating life, we celebrate their successes and we mourn their losses. Life can be hard. We need people to walk beside us. We need the love of both humans and canines. Canines are loyal and loving. They do not judge us. Their personalities are celebrated in Dog Days.

I read Dog Days in just two sittings. It is a powerful and heartfelt novel.

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

Please if you or anyone you know has been affected by any of the themes, please talk to someone and get help.


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