At midnight last night I finished this marvelous book by David Wroblewski. This debut novel has received lots of attention, Oprah pick, NYT #1 bestseller, etc. , etc. and having completed it I can understand why. It is a story that dog lovers will have trouble putting down and that readers and writers will also thoroughly enjoy. Edgar is the mute son of Gar and Trudy Sawtelle, dog breeders from a remote area in Wisconsin. Edgar's muse and protector, a Sawtelle dog named Almondine, is as strong a character as any in the book. Her insights into human nature are endearing and astute.
Edgar begins his 'coming of age' at the discovery that his Uncle Claude was responsible for Gar's murder but Edgar is hard pressed to accuse the man without proof. As in Hamlet the murder is reinacted by Edgar with the aid of three Sawtelle pups under his tutelage. He gets the reaction he expected out of Claude but when Trudy ignores the revelation Edgar runs away from home taking his three pups but leaving Almondine, who Edgar thought sided with Trudy.
Edgar becomes a man both figuratively and emotionally during his months away from home but returns homesick and determined to avenge his father's death. The heart wrenching story has an action packed and disturbing finish that will stay with me forever.
I give it five stars.