Carol R. (Foster City, CA)
Definitely not just a dog story
This book grabbed my attention and didn't let go. A wonderful, perceptive guide dog unifies three damaged people. The story is told in short chapters, alternating between the "voices" of the characters and the dog. Throughout it, I wondered if it was historical fiction. It depicted the years immediately during and after WWII in a way that seemed completely realistic. The story is detailed, sad, happy, uplifting. You won't see the ending coming - and it is perfect!
Betty T. (Warner Robins, GA)
A Dog and TWO Men
Let me say right up front that I loved this book. The writing was sensitive and held me captivated the entire time. Pax, an abandoned puppy, is the center of this story. He is found by Rick who becomes a ball player for the Braves. Pax then has to make room in his heart for Rick's wife Francesca. Rick goes off to war (WWII) and Pax is sent off to war as part of the Dogs for Defense program. He fights alongside Keller who has never known love until he meets Pax. After the war is over Keller reluctantly has to return Pax to his owners. But Rick has been severely injured in the war and Francesca needs help caring for him. Keller is happy to take a job being Rick's caregiver because then he does not have to leave Pax. But he finds himself falling for Francesca. The chapters bounce around among different viewpoints -- Rick, Francesca, Pax, Keller. You can't help caring for all the characters n the story and wanting them all to be happy but how can they?
Marie A. (Warner, NH)
A Man Of His Own
So much more than what I had expected...
Using different points of view, Susan Wilson, with great simplicity and understanding, has written a heartwarming story of pain, complex relationships, and believable conflict resolutions.
This is much more than a dog story, though Pax is a major force in the story and its outcomes. It is a story of WWII and how it changed the lives, personalities, attitudes, and futures of Rick, Francesca, Keller, and Pax. It is a story of love--rebuilding and renewing past love, finding love, unrequited love, and, of course, unconditional love. And it is a story of healing and the incredible role Pax plays.
The author displays a knack for storytelling, a deep understanding of the restoration of the human spirit, and a keen knowledge of the healing capabilities of a canine companion. All of this in one novel--BRAVO!
Molly K. (San Jose, CA)
Pax, the Magic Dog
There's a fairy tale quality to this story; lives in distress, a dog in shining armour, and compelling characters who live happily ever after. It's a story of lives being put back together rather than being torn apart. It's also a story filled with tension and personal endurance, but without harsh words or emotional outbursts. The characters are controlled, even stoic at times.
The story teller is not in a hurry. The author ambles along at a relatively slow pace, giving each character opportunity to speak. There are no surprises. For me, the story was somewhat unrealistic, somewhat contrived. I became impatient in several places, resisting the temptation to skip ahead. Still, I would recommend this very well written book.
Kristen H. (Hagerstown, MD)
I love animal stories and this one certainly did not disappoint. Very well written. Hard for me to put it down. This I would recommend for a book club, lots to discuss. The author's description of the characters are very well written. By the time I finished the book, I felt that I knew each of the characters well - like they were my friends. The struggles that each were dealing with - including the dog - were described well but not too much that you would be lost in the detail.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was a little sad to see it end.
Carol T. (Ankeny, IA)
As a dog lover, I loved it - and I don't love all dog stories, even some of the most popular have left me cold. But this one, coupled with the historical aspect and the Pax's people family, drew me in held me there. I was sorry to have it end.
Marylou C. (Winfield, IL)
Could This Be Historical Fiction
Every now and then you begin reading a book that totally captivates you. So much so you feel that the characters in the book are people you actually know. And if you are a dog fancier, the feeling is multiplied. This story could be historical fiction as the events could have easily happened as the time frame is totally real. The author has the great talent of giving life to words and phrases so that you are sure this has really happened. The caliber of the writing is very impressive, easy to read, easy to follow and very understandable. This is the kind of story you hate to see end and look forward to the next book Susan Wilson will write. Only need one or two tissues!