The Dog That Talked to God

Jim Kraus, Author
Jim Kraus. Abingdon, $14.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4267-4256-9
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 978-1-4267-5573-6
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Stuck in her grief, 43-year-old widowed writer Mary Fassler adopts a miniature schnauzer for diversion and company. The novelist, who specializes in Amish stories, is in for a surprise when her dog, Rufus, speaks to her as they are out on a winter night’s walk, asking her if she thinks he’s fat. Even more surprising, Rufus goes on to tell her that he talks to God once a week. Rufus becomes her walking companion and adviser, his doggy logic both naïve and insightful. When a man finally enters Mary’s life, things grow complicated. This charming novel sets a slow pace in the first part, undoubtedly to convey the emotionally and spiritually frozen life Mary leads. But it’s a bit of a plod. The faith elements—Mary is angry with God over the Job-like mess in her life—are organic, though a Christian man she meets late in the book is somewhat artificial. Mary’s slow healing from loss, however, is credibly rendered. Judge this book by its cover, which features a sagacious seated schnauzer, and be charmed. (Mar.)
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