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I absolutely loved Tom's first book, Finding Atticus.
I really struggled with this book. I am the sole dissenter, it seems. I quit two hours before the end.
I didn't like his flowery writing and the extreme anthropomorphism--you will never convince me any dog appreciates beauty of the mountain scenery. Perhaps, just perhaps, the dog is feeling his owner's high?
I hated the fact he took in a dog that bit him daily and he laughed at it. I hated the tone of almost religious reverence his voice took on as the book continued on.
I hated the minute details of his daily life with Will, got so tired of hearing of the hand knitted afghans, the flower deliveries for a dog, every breath the dog took.
Is this real or was it done to enable a second book?
Sorry, you must feel I have become a curmudgeon. This book is for extreme animal lovers and although I am a confirmed dog lover, it appears I am not extreme enough.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
An act of kindness leads one on a spiritual journey of a lifetime. A dog at death's door, deaf, blind, thrown away and forgotten learns to rear up and kick his front legs out, learns to circle in drunken butterfly dances of joy: Here I am! I'm alive!
"Will's Red Coat" is perhaps even more deeply heartfelt than the more philosophical "Following Atticus" (which was truly brilliant), as it is about sunlight and shadow, life and death, serving without ego, and the simple joys of living each moment here and now, second by glorious second.
What lovely prose! Ryan captures the beauty of their surroundings and infuses every dying leaf with jubilant color, every wildflower with spine-tingling fragrances that are enough to make Will circle with joy, using what vision remains him to spy each petal.
This is a fairy tale of a story: a backyard that opens to an Enchanted Forest, a wild bear who is smitten with the three, apple-taking beavers, a spider who needs a prompt every now and then to respect their space as they respect hers. It's a story of compassion on every level, of empathy lived and shared.
There's a word in Japanese that means, "to repair with gold"--a technique of fixing broken pottery with melted gold which makes the broken even more valuable than the whole. And how fragile we all are. How very, very beautiful.
What a journey I've just been on with Tom, Atticus, and the irrepressible Will. One I will never forget.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful