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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 After a withdrawn Earl discovers a lump in his neck, he struggles to reconnect with his wife and his alienated grandson, Daniel.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
Many of the story lines, once introduced, never are developed. Overall, the message is okay, but I wanted more depth. Dreams can inspire us and make us work to goals.... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Sally Daniel
I was ready for something light and fun and this filled the bill! Plus it all takes place in a dream of a place. Again, a fun read.Published 19 months ago by Louie
This book is poignant, poetic, humorous, historical, spiritual, magical and witty. This isn't a self-help book; it's a book about life and how people from different demographics... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Monique A. Gordon
I read this many years ago. I sat down on sunny afternoon and couldn't put it down. Forget lunch or even water I was hooked! I will purchase anything she writes. Read morePublished 20 months ago by juliana
Kaya has great quirky characters in her novels. The storyline is interesting, some places maybe a little far-fetched, but that makes it fun. Read morePublished on November 26, 2010 by Maggie
Not the great American novel, but I found it warm, funny, and true. Plus well-written, I think - I listened to the audio book. Read morePublished on February 9, 2010 by J Austin
This book belies its title in many ways. It has an engaging and almost elfin quality to it. The ability to live with whomever crosses your path and view it all as a blessing is... Read morePublished on November 13, 2009 by Mary J. Butler
I just finished Church of the Dog for the second time. The first time I read it was the first printing in 2000. Read morePublished on June 8, 2009 by Barbara Gourley
I bought this book because it was recommended by a small, independent bookstore I am fond of. While it was a quick read, it was a very weak book. Read morePublished on March 12, 2009 by Book Club Facilitator