Not so long ago I asked the author what she was reading. MacGregor's reply:
I usually have three or four books that I’m reading at any time. Depending on my mood, I read one at the gym, another at night before I go to bed, another while I’m eating breakfast or lunch.Visit Trish J. MacGregor's website.
My book for the gym is W. Bruce Cameron’s novel, A Dog’s Purpose, a delightful story that traces one dog’s spiritual evolution through several lifetimes. As with humans, the dog’s name and circumstances change from life to life. He begins his first life in a litter born in the wild, where he and his litter mates are eventually taken to a chaotic dog rescue place. Here, he’s named Toby and learns how to exist in a fenced area with other rescued dogs. Cameron captures the pecking order in such a situation and does it in a way that instantly pulls you into the emotional texture of Toby’s life. When Toby’s mother escapes from the rescue place, you feel what Toby feels, betrayal, bewilderment, fear. When Toby is attacked by Spike, the local bully, you feel Toby’s horror and pain. You also feel what Toby feels when his leg is damaged beyond repair and he’s euthanized.
Toby is reborn as a golden retriever, and this lifetime really spoke to me; we have owned two goldens. In this life, he’s called Bailey and ends up with a family whose young son is definitely his primary human. He recalls his previous life as Toby, what it was like in that fenced yard, how his mother had escaped, how Spike had attacked him. It’s obvious that Cameron has done his research on dogs. But more than that, Cameron has a real gift for bringing you fully into the dog’s personality, his memories, his love for the boy, his search for purpose.
The novel is extraordinary. I wish I’d written it!
Writers Read: Trish J. MacGregor (September 2010).
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