cover image Rose in a Storm

Rose in a Storm

Jon Katz, Villard, $24 (256p) ISBN 978-0-345-50265-0

Told from the perspective of Rose, a farm dog, Katz's latest pits man and dog against the forces of nature. Rose is a dedicated sheepherder and fiercely loyal to her owner, Sam. When a brutal winter storm hits Granville Farm during lambing season, Rose's work is cut out for her as she attempts to help Sam keep the animals alive. But when Sam is injured from a fall from the roof and lies buried beneath a snow drift, Rose is left alone to deal with harsh winds, subzero temperatures, a lack of food, frozen water supplies, and the ever-lurking pack of coyotes. Happily, Rose goes into Lassie mode, singlehandedly saving Sam and the farm animals and as a result, our tough endearing canine goes on to become a legend in the local farming community. Having Rose center stage offers some poignant insights into the interconnectedness of nature and provides a small window into Sam's life, empty after the loss of his wife, Katie, but Rosie's dog-mind is limiting. Katz (Soul of a Dog) has written extensively about his own farm (Bedlam in upstate New York) and the nature of dogs, but while the plot is interesting, the book reads more like an extended children's story than a fully developed novel. (Oct.)