Firstly I would like to say a huge thank you to Random Things Tours for giving me the chance to join this blog tour. I was provided with a free copy of this book but this in no way has influenced my review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Title: Dog Days
Author: Ericka Waller
Source: Random Things Tours publishing
Publish date: 11th March 2021
I loved the look of the book from the beginning, anything that weaves animals into the fiction as characters in their own right is a huge winner for me! When I saw this book and read the blurb I thought it might be a feel good journey story where the heroes were the dogs who brought different characters together. What I ended up reading was a very character driven tale about people going through their own very personal struggles and the ways in which they faced their issues. The dogs were a happy sidebar to their existence and were in fact characters themselves, each having a job to do to help their owner come to grips with what was happening to them. Dogs are known to be loyal pets and like one of the family and this book certainly portrayed them in that light!
George 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.
Dan 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.
Lizzie 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
I really enjoyed Dog Days, it was such a strong character driven story. The three main characters had large internal struggles, all of them facing pretty big demons and not knowing how to get past them. The story wove around these characters in such a way that I began to feel like I knew them all and wanted them all to find peace.
George was such a cantankerous old man, suffering the loss of his wife, whilst having an unwanted puppy thrust upon him. He was character that you love to hate, his callous often spiteful words throughout made you wonder how on earth his wife could have stayed with him all those years, however the more George was portrayed and his relationship with his neighbour Betty was developed, hidden gems of his personality would shine through if you looked closely enough. Betty was an absolute bulldozer of a character, and her phrases were fabulous! She is the kind of woman I would love to have a coffee with while putting the world to rights!
Dan seemed to be painfully struggling to find his place in the world. Suffering from OCD and a counsellor himself, he was finding his path truly difficult. His relationship with the dog Fitz is so perfect as they seem like they were made for each other. They are soulmates and this helped him to find order in the world and also helped him embrace the changes to come. His story was a lovely one, my heart broke numerous times throughout his narrative and I just wanted to give him a hug and tell him everything was going to be OK.
Lizzie was a strange character from the beginning, exceptionally guarded and secretive, unwilling to let anyone in. Which was understandable considering the circumstances that brought her where she was. I felt her stress and fear in every chapter written about her. When she meets Maud, the dog from the shelter, Lizzie begins to let her inch her way into her life. As she begins to unravel and share more parts of her life with those around her you start to get a sense of an altogether different person hiding beneath the facade. Her journey was the most shocking I thought and written very well.
The story circled around these three characters and watched them grow and fall throughout. It was told from their POVs switching between characters every chapter, the chapters were not too short that it was hard to follow but long enough that you got a good insight into what was happening.
I felt genuinely sad when the story ended as I really enjoyed seeing what would happen to everyone. The storylines all ended in a satisfactory way and left me with a happy feeling.
Overall this was a great story filled with fantastic description and some nice twists that I didn't see coming and which kept me interested throughout. The side characters were necessary and exciting (dare I say flamboyant) and they gave the characters narratives more depth. I recommend you grab a copy yourself!
Dog Days was published on 11th March 2021 and you can buy a copy here at Amazon.
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About the author
Ericka 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.