Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Dogs of Babel (Carolyn Parkhurst)

Many people with pets have often wondered what happens inside their little brains.  What are they thinking?  What do they do when we’re not around?  What do they wish they could tell us if they could form words?  Carolyn Parkhurst plays around with that scenario in The Dogs of Babel in a believable, often heartbreaking, way.

One day, Paul gets a tragic call about his wife, Lexi.  She has fallen out of a tree in their yard and died.  The only witness was their dog, Lorelei, so Paul in his grief goes about trying to teach the canine to speak.  As readers, we know that Paul is most likely going down a rabbit hole and will have no success, but we’re still rooting for him all the way.  This, however, is only the secondary storyline; Parkhurst takes us back and forth between the present and past, from the very beginning of Lexi and Paul’s relationship to the time right before the day Lexi died.  Doing that makes it very clear that things were not always what they seemed to be on the surface.

This is one of those books that I need to give the dreaded half rating to  It wasn’t quite good enough to be a 4, but not average enough for a 3.  I found myself loving The Dogs of Babel at the beginning, but parts toward the end dragged.  All in all though, this is a unique story that befits Paul and Lexi’s unique marriage.