Thursday, April 2, 2009

Book Review: A Home for Rose

This is the second Jon Katz title that I have read. The first, A Dog Year, left me quite unimpressed. With that in mind, I wasn't expecting to enjoy A Home for Rose.

During the first three chapters, I felt the familiar disappointment, that I had felt in Jon's previous work, creeping up on me once more. I decided to stick with it regardless. I am so glad that I did.

Like digging for gold, there's a some hard grinding to get out of the way before you get to the real valuable material, but once there, the rewards are rich.

I loved the detail he gave throughout the book, particularly when referring to his new farm, Bedlam Farm, a place which I'm sure many of us Border Collie owners dream about in our sleep.

Jon purchases a farm so that he can give his dogs the life he always promised himself that he would give them, and let them herd sheep as they were intended to do. Little did he realise the work involved in maintaining a farm (complete with donkeys, sheep and three dogs) and surviving the harsh country winters.

The story is as much about Jon as it is about his beloved dogs. It's about Jon learning to accept help from new friends and neighbours, learning the real meaning of bonds (both canine and human), it's about him learning the harsh realities of living within a farm environment, and about making tough decisions, as he is forced to do with one of his dogs, Homer.

I really enjoyed the book (past chapter three) and was quite sad to get to the end. Defintely a book to curl up on the sofa and relax with. Just let Jon do the work of painting the pictures for you. Great book!

Have the tissues ready around chapter seven!

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