#BookReview by Lou of Dog Days by Ericka Waller @erickawaller1 @tabithapelly @DoubleDayUK @penguinrandom @TransworldBooks @RandomTTours #DogDaysBook #Fiction

Dog Days
By Ericka Waller
Rated 5 stars *****

Dog Days is all encompassing of human-life. It has characters who you want to meet, as well as their dogs. It’s emotional and deep at times and will also find you being uplifted at times too. It’s one heck of a powerful book that has a truth in its unexpected twists and is so absorbing, it can be devoured all too easily as the hours pass by. It’s exceptionally hard to put down once you get started. This is one amazing debut and I’m totally enamoured and impressed by it. I am excited to be showing you the blurb and my review and all the gorgeous graphics I have had fun placing all the way down.
I thank Tabitha Pelly at Penguin Random House/Double Day/Transworld Books for supplying me with the book and to Anne Cater for the invitation to review on the blog tour. I thank them both for the press release and graphics.

 

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About the Author

Dog Days Ericka Waller Author picERICKA WALLER lives in Brighton with her husband, three daughters and pets. Previously, she worked as a blogger and columnist. Dog Days is the sum of everything she has learned about love, loss and the healing power of dogs.
Twitter: @erickawaller1     Instagram: @erickamary

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Blurb

‘DOG DAYS is a Russian doll of a book that twists and tugs each outer husk, revealing delicate and poignant inner layers…a soulful, lyrical tale that brings them – and their dogs – together in a satisfying whole. Such a treat.’ – BETH MORREY, author of SAVING MISSY

Dog Days Graphic 4George is very angry. His wife has upped and died on him, and all he wants to do is sit in his underpants and shout at the cricket. The last thing he needs is his cake-baking neighbour Betty trying to rescue him. And then there’s the dog, a dachshund puppy called Poppy. George doesn’t want a dog – he wants a fight.

Dog Days Graphic 2Dan
is a counsellor with OCD who is great at helping other people – if only he were better at helping himself. His most meaningful relationship so far is with his labrador Fitz. But then comes a therapy session that will change his life.

Dog Days Graphic 3Lizzie is living in a women’s refuge with her son Lenny. Her body is covered in
scars and she has shut herself off from everyone around her. But when she is
forced to walk the refuge’s fat terrier, Maud, a new life beckons – if she can keep
her secret just a while longer…

Featuring an unforgettable cast of characters – joyous, heartbreaking and wise – Dog Days is about those small but life-changing moments that only come when we pause to let the light in.

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Review

Dog Days is a book that once you’ve swooped into, you glide along with the George, Lizzie and Dan and their complex lives and their dogs and before you know it, a lot of time has passed by and you want to go on reading until the end, it is so engrossing and so well-written. It’s great how each chapter takes one character at a time. It’s easy to follow and with just 3 main characters and then a few sub-characters, there’s plenty of time to really invest in them. Each main character has their own challenging, windy paths they are on, each of them displaying vulnerabilities due to circumstance and experiences of depression, OCD, grief, anxiety, in their own ways, in their lives. Each character, whether a main character or a sub-character relating to a main one is strongly written and characterised. It is fascinating to explore their lives in not just what they do on a daily basis, but also their reactions and perceptions to situations, including humans and dogs.

Charmingly, focussing on George, Lizzie and Dan; Dog Days is a very human emotion story with dogs featuring too, look out for very cute dog pictures in the corners of some of the pages. It shows that no matter who you are, what your profession is or who you are, life is just not always straight-forward. It is an all encompassing and full look into relationships, love, life and loss.

Dog Days Graphic 4There’s George, who has a dog that he wasn’t consulted on and you almost feel sorry for, the Daschound – Poppy and him. He is a bit coarse, but has an unexpected softer side to him, but his edges are sharp, but then, so is Betty’s, which makes for a bit of firey duo and is intriguing to see where that heads. It also shows the stages of grief as he is saddened by his wife’s death.
It’s interesting how Poppy is used in the relationship interactions between George and Betty and there’s so much anger in George that he isn’t always wanting Poppy’s attention. It’s intriguing to see what unfolds.

Dog Days Graphic 2There’s Dan, a counsellor with OCD and a few other issues besides, has a Labrador – Fitz and insightfully says what he does in his job and the purpose. There is also insight into how he handles clients and what he does with them and views them, especially Atticus, who proves a challenge to him, which makes for interesting reading, especially as he isn’t always, exactly complient. Luke, on the other-hand is more comfortable and he’s kept inside his comfort zone. Dan himself is an interesting character to analyse as he is rather flawed. Dan uses Fitz as a crutch almost, to talk about his day and wonder’s how his dog’s day has been, it’s his closest relationship, although would perhaps wants a human relationship, which then results in him putting his job into jeopardy and yet also has almost an epiphany moment of acceptance of himself, which is pretty uplifting.

Dog Days Graphic 3There’s Lizzie was taken in by a well-wisher – Tess and in return must walk her terrier – Maud, even though she doesn’t like nor trusts them. She has secrets and scars and how these affect her is shown particularly well. The portrayal of someone who is vulnerable is particularly good.
Tess is quite light-hearted in comparison to Lizzie, which makes it interesting. She is also a mum, trying to do her best but also has a desire to leave, she would also like to leave Maud too as she doesn’t like her much.

It’s fascinating to see everyone’s lives unfold and their secrets being revealed. It’s such a page-turner and a book that is so easy to invest in all the characters. The main characters, although all, for the most part are separate, do occassionally show their connections here and there and come together now and again.

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#BookReview By Lou – The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson @FionaGibson @ElliePilcher95 @AvonBooksUK #UpliftingFiction

The Dog Share
By Fiona Gibson
Rated: 5 stars *****

Uplifting and sweet, The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson is a great entertaining escape!

Thanks to Ellie Pilcher at Avon Books for sending me such a delightful book to review.

Please discover more further down in the blurb and then onto my review.

The Dog Share

Blurb

The next gloriously uplifting book from the #1 bestselling author of The Mum Who Got Her Life Back.

Suzy Medley is having a bad day…

… when a shabby terrier turns up at her door. Just like Suzy, Scout has been abandoned, although only Suzy has been left with a financial mess and a business in tatters thanks to her ex.

Suzy takes Scout in and her chaotic world changes in unexpected ways: strangers have never been more welcoming and her teenage kids can’t wait to come home to visit.

Then a chance encounter on a windy Hebridean beach makes things more complicated, because Suzy isn’t the only one who needs a friend.

Scout has plenty of love to go round… but does Suzy?

A wonderfully funny and uplifting story about friendship and second chances (and whisky!), perfect for fans of Gill Sims and Jill Mansell.

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Review

It’s a dogs life that is very sweet and entertaining to read about and there is whisky and delicious food amongst the island and city life that can sometimes be a bit more complicated than it first seems. The Dog Share makes for a great story to escape into. It’s also fun, feeling like you’re legitimately snooping around the lively WhatsApp chats in the book.

Suzy and Paul are going to the Hebrides with her mum, from York whose reaction is quite funny because there is something recognisable about her reaction. Things, however zany and unsettled with many work plans, there is something really sweet about Suzy and Paul, as well as a sense of lightness and fun about them 2 years ago, but then the book brings readers up to the present and the atmosphere changes when holiday plans aren’t happening as expected.

Set between York and (primarily), Scotland – between Glasgow and the Hebrides, this is a rather uplifting story, with a kindness and sense of caring for each other is enough to warm anyone’s heart. There is also a dog, who just turns up and it is fun, yet true about how people talk to dogs. Suzie then sets up a dog sharing arrangement with Cara, who she later meets.

There is also Ricky in Glasgow, who is a tutor around schools and enters one where Arthur is attending and Ricky can already guess how that would be seen. This adds even more interest in the story and a plays well off of the contrast on the island life. There’s humour to find in all parts of the characters lives. It really is an entertaining and uplifting read with plenty that people will be able to relate to, whether it is about the dog, food, business as she picks up the pieces of her life. She isn’t totally altogether, which makes it seem realistic. All in all, it’s a rather pleasing book to sink into and relax and read.