Okay this blog is almost all about digi-scrapping, but I have NEVER spent a weekend like this one just past. My daughter went to spend the weekend with a friend, and I had a lot of cleaning and laundry to do. So thank goodness I am into audible books, because I'd never have gotten ANYTHING done if I'd had to sit down and read this book - I'd never have put it down. I just did a digi-scrap layout with my 10 favorite books, the actual title being (because WHO could have just 10 fave books!?) "10 of My Favorite Books on the Top-of-the-Stairs Bookshelf Not Including Anything Harry Potter Because Amaria Had Them All In Her Room at the Time". And if there hadn't been the top-of-the-stairs limit (I had to be able to have photos of my own of the books, not from the internet, because of challenge rules on the layout), there would have been some other books, like Angela's Ashes and the Bible, for example.
But after this weekend, one I spent continually with Edgar Sawtelle and his amazing dogs. If you haven't read the book and plan to, STOP READING NOW. SPOILER ALERT!!! SPOILER FOLLOWS!!! STOP READING!!!
One reason I may have loved this book so much at this time is that my dog, Humphrey, recently died. As I had no images to go by (I listen to books from audible.com and don't usually look too closely at the covers), I pictured the Sawtelle dogs all looking just like Humphrey - who was an Australian/German Shepherd mix, so he actually kind of fits in. I am so glad I was not listening to this book in public!! When Almondine was searching and searching for Edgar, I SOBBED!!! SOBBED I tell you!! I sobbed and told her, "No, he's coming back, he's on his way, wait, just wait!!" And of course, I pictured Humphrey spending his last hours wondering where I was, and loving me as much and as unconditionally as Almondine loved Edgar. I have decided not to get another dog, but after reading this, I REALLY have to remind myself of that, because you can't possibly be a dog-lover and read this book, and not want a dog! On the other hand, the Sawtelle dogs set such a high bar, who could ever get a dog as good as them?
I'm doing a horrible job of writing how I feel. I feel like I lived Edgar's whole short life with him. I feel like I faced the evil of Claude with him. I feel like I was there when he finally, in death, spoke the only words he ever spoke aloud - not the "I'm Sorry" that Glen wanted him to speak, but the "I Love You" which summed up his entire short life so much better! I am going to have to read this book again. And again. And again. I think I will add it to my list of once-a-year books, but always remember to read it at home, because I am sure that on my 50th reading of the book, I will still sob, SOB, at Almondine's death, at the end of Edgar's life, and even in the beginning when the baby and the wolf pup are both buried.
So, don't be mad at me, I said there were spoilers. But if you got this far, if you have read this book, what did you think? I have been reading reader reviews, and people have wildly differing opinions. I don't really care what any of them are, because this book is now right up there with Angela's Ashes and Schindler's List for me - just amazing, heartbreaking, heart-rending, uplifting, and full of interest on every single page. Wow. Now I'm going to see if this guy has written anything else. That's my book rave for the day - now I'm reading "The Passage" by Justin Cronin, also said to be a fantastic book. Yippee!! Thank you, excellent authors, for giving me all this great stuff to enjoy!!