Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley / Book Review
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YOU! MUST! READ! THIS! BOOK!
Spoken in Lily’s excited “voice”, which has now become all dog speak for me.
What an endearing story about Ted and Lily, about their years together and the lessons learned from having the bond that develops between a dog and their human. How the human takes those lessons and applies them to life.
We meet the people in Ted’s extended life, his love of 6 years,
his family, his best friend, his therapist and his inner self which inevitably can relate in some way to everyone.
After all, we are all humans on this journey experiencing family, friends, love, loss and the inner searching about what it all means.
Lily is a Dachshund. Ted's furry companion and best friend for 12 years.
She will make you laugh
“OH! BOY! TOFURKEY! IS! MY! ABSOLUTE! FAVORITE!”
and inevitably cry,
“All of my memories are my favorite memories.”
When I first started thinking about this review my initial thought was “I cannot say this was a pager turner for me.” I did put this book down from time to time and now, after finishing it, I know why.
Let me explain.
I knew when I started this book I would revisit the pain of loss from the past and I welcomed that. Somehow, revisiting those losses from time to time help me gain a new outlook on what I have today and not take it for granted. I welcomed that, at first.
However as the pain drew closer through the story my heart wanted to pause, so I would put the book down. Then it would draw me back in. I suddenly I found myself in the midst of an exciting battle with an octopus. I found myself thinking maybe this will end differently than I expected.
As the battle drew me back in, after my pause button moment, Lily and the Octopus was indeed a "page turner" I couldn't put it down and I found myself doing my own inner searching.
Lily and the Octopus is sometimes funny, often somber, it is a story that makes you appreciate the time you have, although seemingly short lived, with our furry friends, with our human friends, with life itself.
If you are a dog lover, this book will resonate with you. If you are a pet owner who considers your pet family, this book will also resonate with you. It will even capture the hearts of those who are not pet people, because ultimately this book is about life.
I think a lot about Lily and Ted. I think about the sweet moments they shared, especially as the Octopus grows bigger and Lily grows weaker. This story caused me to think a lot about my own dogs. The one’s I’ve lost and the ones I am privileged to have now and sadly will eventually lose.
There are deep messages about life and its eventual end not just for dogs but for all of us.
I like books that make me think, books that make me appreciate what I have. Stories that change my perspective to make sure I am more present, savoring the moments. Lily and the Octopus is that kind of book. Enjoyable and rich.
Steven Rowely is a gifted author bringing his story to life with beautiful descriptions of places, people, feelings and grief. His story is relatable on many levels regarding relationships and life. I could see this book like a movie in my mind. It was a smooth read. Smooth and sticky, like honey.
As you may have noticed from my intro, I particularly enjoyed Lily’s “voice” and quickly started to use it when my own dogs talk to me. My guess is you will too.
Now, go walk your dog then start reading!
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