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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?
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.
Kristen H. (Hagerstown, MD)
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.
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.
Carol T. (Ankeny, IA)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was a little sad to see it end.
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!
Gwen C. (Clearfield, PA)
A Man of his Own
So much more than a dog story! Different narrators, short overlapping chapters, heart-rendering events, characters with depth - all weave together to make an outstanding novel. Susan Wilson knows dogs…and humans…and storytelling. This is NOT a book to read when you have company (as I did) because you will keep excusing yourself to read "just a bit more." I wondered how the story could ever have a satisfactory resolution. Under Wilson's masterful hands it does. Not only is this a good book; it would make a great movie.
Bobbie D. (Boca Raton, FL)
Pax, a very special dog
This story is about a dog named Pax (I'd like to change the title to Pax, a very special dog). It is also about Rick ( a baseball pitcher), the man who finds a starving, frightened puppy, Francesca who he falls in love with and Keller who also bonds with Pax. I can clearly picture each and every one of them and the author gives each of them chapters to speak to us (of course including Pax). Part of the story is a warm, fuzzy read when it begins in 1938 and then a few years later, war comes along and changes everything. The reader develops strong, emotional and often upsetting feelings. Pax, of course, is very special as is this book. It will appeal to all ages including teens, young adults, and most certainly, dog lovers. It shows how a young boy, growing up in adversity, can not only survive but become an upstanding citizen who can learn to love. And how another copes with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) after the war. Would be a good read for parents and older children to read and discuss together.