From Publishers Weekly
In this treacly reprint of a novel first published in 2000 (by a now-defunct indie press), Edith and Earl McRae have lived on their Oregon farm for 60 years, but know their time is coming to an end. After a withdrawn Earl discovers a lump in his neck, he struggles to reconnect with his wife and his alienated grandson, Daniel. Into this family tragedy strolls Mara, a chaotic figure who sees auras and appears in other characters' dreams—in other words, she's the stereotypical freethinking outsider who opens stoics to the redemptive powers of love. The result is an ersatz inspirational novel that mistakes the characters' tendencies to natter on about God and ethics and spout goofy New Age-isms for plot or character development. (June)
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"Kaya McLaren's sincere and generous feelings for all the creatures of this world make this novel of comforting magic both heartfelt and heartening."
ùChristina Schwarz, author of DROWNING RUTH and ALL IS VANITY
"What a genuinely surprising novel Kaya McLaren has written, with characters that are each, in their own way, quietly magical and also heartbreakingly true. Like Barbara Kingsolver's early heroines, Mara O'Shaunnessey lives in the real world but reminds us, in all her actions, that animals can be messengers of truth and love has transformative powers."
ùCammie McGovern, author of EYE CONTACT
"CHURCH OF THE DOG is a radiant novel that honors the broken among us, tenderly healing with its love, humor, and understanding. Kaya McLaren is a deeply wonderful writer. From the opening scene of Mara in her grandmother's garden, through the wrenching finale on the ranch, I was stunned by this book. It's a classic on the spirituality of everyday life..."
ùLuanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author of LIGHT OF THE MOON
"This is a sweet, whimsical tale of love and friendship, a slice of pure life. It is a beautiful story that is not to be missed."
ùLynne Hinton, author of FRIEND:SHIP CAKE and THE ARMS OF GOD
"With prose as clear and pure as mountain water, Kaya McLaren has written a testament to the plain sense of things. CHURCH OF THE DOG is spiritual, even a little magical, but it's also incredibly practical. McLaren has a glorious way of finding beauty in the bigger picture. A lovely, uplifting book."
ùSarah Addison Allen, author of GARDEN SPELLS and THE SUGAR QUEEN