Today I am going to be reviewing a book I read recently that I should have reviewed aaagggeeesss ago (I was sent it to review in September - whoops!) I picked this up off my bookshelf because I have read quite a lot of YA recently and wanted to try something a little bit different. I wanted to be completely lost in a story, transported to another world, and embark on a journey with characters I wouldn't forget in a hurry...
Luckily enough for me, Between a Wolf and a Dog was that book.
Between a Wolf and a Dog follows the lives of Ester, April, Hilary and Lawrence - all connected by familial ties, a mistake that has ripped the relationship between the two sisters apart, and a secret that, once exposed, will either heal the open wounds or tear the family apart for good. Between a Wolf and a Dog is a story about family, betrayal, and hope in the face of almost unbelievable adversity. It is about relationships and the way that they can be healed, and the importance of doing this work in repairing them.
I was kindly sent Between a Wolf and a Dog by Scribe Publishing in exchange for an honest review <3
Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...
Ester is a family therapist with an appointment book that catalogues the anxieties of the middle class: loneliness, relationships, death. She spends her days helping others find happiness, but her own family relationships are tense and frayed. Estranged from both her sister, April, and her ex-husband, Lawrence, Ester wants to fall in love again. Meanwhile, April is struggling through her own directionless life; Lawrence's reckless past decisions are catching up with him; and Ester and April's mother, Hilary, is about to make a choice that will profoundly affect them all.
Taking place largely over one rainy day in Sydney, and rendered with the evocative and powerful prose Blain is known for, Between a Wolf and a Dog is a celebration of the best in all of us -- our capacity to live in the face of ordinary sorrows, and to draw strength from the transformative power of art. Ultimately, it is a joyous tribute to the beauty of being alive.
I absolutely adored this book. Without a doubt it is one of those novels you can completely wrapped up in, and I had trouble putting it down. The characters are so vivid and easily imaginable and whilst reading it I found myself imagining that they were sat down on the sofa next to me, sharing with me their lives, confessing their most darkest secrets. I loved Ester and Hilary a lot, and detested April and Lawrence with equal passion. All of the characters were so realistic and the four narratives worked really well in the novel, allowing the reader access to these hugely different four minds.
Blain's writing is beautifully lyrical and so evocative of the setting. The constant rain that acts as a backdrop to the novel gave the novel an ambience of overwhelming gloom, but also the sense of comfort that you get on days sat inside with the rain splattering against the window, the voice of the radio drowned in the noise.
The story itself is really interesting and you get the excitement you don't always feel in novels that are set in one day. Although there are separate stories that evolve from the lives of the four different characters, it was really satisfying when they all came together, and you could see how they all merge and dissolve into each other.
Although this book deals with issues such as grief, loneliness, betrayal and mortality, there is a life-affirming message at the centre of this novel: the importance of living your life to the full; the huge and tiny joys that life has to offer. This message only became the more poignant to me once I had learned that Georgia Blain passed away in December last year.
Overall I adored this book, I would urge you all to go and pick it up straight away from your local bookshop!
Buy Between a Wolf and a Dog here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Between-Wolf-Dog-Georgia-Blain-ebook/dp/B01D0IEO46/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1494092139&sr=8-2&keywords=between+a+wolf+and+a+dog
Check out Georgia Blain here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/dec/14/remembering-georgia-blain-she-was-frankly-magnificent
Until next time :)