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REVIEWS: The Books of W. Bruce Cameron

My full intention for this blogsite was to focus on and present the historical fiction genre in all its glory. There can be historical fiction mysteries, historical romances, historical thrillers, and historical fiction biographies like my Antonius Trilogy. There have even been times when I've turned an author away; not posting a blog or review about their book, because I've simply been trying to promote HISTORY.

And here I am today, deviating from my own rule.

Why? Because few people can resist a great dog story. But here's the good news... this one begins in the middle of the 20th century, so that still falls under historical fiction . . . RIGHT???

Let me confess right here. I'm a dog-person. 100%. Always have been and always will be. Dogs have such a sweet, innocent spirit when they've been loved and they're one of the most forgiving animal species I know. I 'll take my dog Jak for example. He's a Daddy's boy. Loves to hang with my husband. But everything changed last summer when I had foot surgery and couldn't get around very well. Jak suddenly became Mama's boy! He stayed in the same room with me, sometimes climbed into bed with me--even at the risk of being caught by my husband, who forbids dogs in our bed. He became especially particular about people ringing the doorbell, prepared to defend me, life and limb.

I'll bet some of you have had beloved dogs just like that, and believe that in Heaven, dogs will certainly be there to welcome us all when we arrive. Many of them could certainly provide sermon fodder for preachers speaking about unconditional love.

W. Bruce Cameron is an author who has spent most of his writing on dogs and their stories. Any author knows that sometimes, the story BEHIND a book can be just as heartwarming or powerful as the book itself. And such is the case with this one. A Dog's Purpose was so successful in the bestseller lists, that Cameron's next book was A Dog's Journey, and other dog-books have followed in succession. Since I've read the first two and adored them, I decided to share my reviews.

For those of you who love dogs and the quirky stories that always surround them, these two books are on the top of my recommendations for anybody's dog-story list. And all of the photography in this blog features some of my favorite dogs--the one currently in my life (that's Jak, with snow all over his face!), and ones that once were, but are still so beloved in my heart.

Enjoy and READ ON!

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce


Reviewed by Brook Allen

I just finished the mother of all dog-stories. It truly was magnificent.

Cameron's complete canine sensibility and understanding of how a dog thinks was captivating and drove the story forward. His prose was exactly like I'd imagine that of a dog to be. And when you read the book, be sure to read the WHOLE book... including Cameron's notes at the end, for they are just as satisfying as the book's finale, itself. Sometimes the story behind a story holds just as much punch.

Toby/Bailey/Ellie/Buddy... these are actually all ONE dog! We meet Toby, the hapless stray, whose mother is afraid of her own shadow. Then, after a poignant scene in a room with a stainless-steel table, we meet Bailey--an energetic golden retriever pup. Bailey is a loyal, man's best friend type of dog, who has met the boy of his dreams, Ethan. As the story continues, Bailey learns that despite his own good nature, not all humans possess that trait. In several thrilling scenes, we see Ethan mature in a tragic way, Bailey witnessing the scars as they happen, and loyally remaining by his master's side. Next, we meet Ellie, whose successful and heroic nose leads to crimes solved and accolades won. Yet, lastly is Buddy, who winds up becoming almost as feral as Toby's mother. It isn't until Buddy finds a real PURPOSE that he becomes the dog he's supposed to be.

Here is a book most deserving of the many awards, critical acclaim, and excellent reviews it's received. Cameron is right. This story was a gift from God. Have hankies ready but do give this one a read. It's unputdownable and I found myself thinking about it during my workday, looking forward to getting home so I could read more.

A Dog's Journey by W. Bruce Cameron

Reviewed by Brook Allen

Though it's a continuation of the first book, this one is every bit as wonderful and satisfying. The ending in particular was stellar.

As Cameron states in his notes at the end of Book I, this book begins close to where the last one ended. Buddy is still with Hannah, but two new characters emerge: Clarity, who eventually dons the abbreviated name of C.J. and her mother, Gloria.

Expect plenty of anxiety-producing plots and Buddy/Molly/Max/Toby is always there to steer the reader into a full acceptance that dogs really do take care of US, more than the other way around. Beautifully idealistic if not 100% believable as was the first, kudos to Cameron for yet a second book proving the astounding worth and joy of dogs!

If you're a dog-lover at all, RUN to your local bookstore, or order off of Amazon to read Cameron's thoroughly engaging books on our canine friends.

Five WOOFS for this jewel!


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