Automotive Deals HPCC Shop Women's Clothing Learn more Discover it $5 Albums Fire TV Stick Sun Care Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer harmonquest_s1 harmonquest_s1 harmonquest_s1  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis Enter for the chance to win front row seats to Barbra Streisand Segway miniPro

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
35
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on March 26, 2001
How often can you pick up a book and think right from the very beginning, "As soon as I finish reading this book, I am going to write my own."? That is what Kaya McLaren's words did for me. They were an absolute inspiration. Her style is crisp and refreshing - not intimidating. She tells a wonderful story in a narrative that lopes. (It doesn't gallop like Frank McCourt's did in "Angela's Ashes" - a book you can't put down but one that leaves you exhausted.)
"Church of the Dog" is a work of fiction, but it is about people who are real. People you have met if you have ever lived in the rural west. Mara is the extremely creative and energetic single woman any single woman would like to emulate. She has dreams that help her and her friends navigate through life. Edith is the exuberant grandmother who has not let life's tragedies embitter her. In her advancing years, she is still singing the song, "It Is New Every Morning." Her practical, taciturn rancher-husband has not cramped her style one bit, but it is too bad her love of life did not rub off on Earl a little bit more. He might have wanted to stick around a little longer. The somewhat-troubled grandson evades true involvement in life by hiding behind his camera lens. The pictures he takes capture events and scenes - recording them more clearly than memory.
In the end of the book, love and family and hope prevail. I cannot think of three better reasons to read a book.
P.S. Don't be discouraged from reading the book if you saw it at a bookstore and were turned off by the poorly-written blurb on the back of the book. I am certain Kaya McLaren did not write those words. She knows how to construct a sentence with matching subjects and verbs. She knows the English language very well indeed. And she knows the human heart.
11 comment| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 5, 2001
This gem of a book will be a favorite library edition and you will read it over and over again (5 times already!). In this day and age that an Author of Kaya's intuitiveness and spirituality is uplifting and such a positive affirmation of our life. Kaya's characters come to life with a belief and caring for each one. As I am of the older generation, I particularly loved Edith and Earl and their love story. Keep on writing, Kaya and thank you for this Angelic gift!!!
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 14, 2009
In the interview with the author at the end of the book, she relates that when she began writing The Church of the Dog, she did not intend to have it published. It is a well intentioned book, but it reads like an extended journal of a middle school student who is exploring the genre of supernatural fantasy. The main character, with her sugary-super-special-magical-powers, is just a bit too precious for my taste.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 15, 2008
In rural Northeast Oregon, Edith and Earl McRae have been married for decades, but over time they have drifted apart though they live together on their farm. Edith reflects back that the somewhat reticent Earl may have loved her, but probably never thought of her as a friend. However while shaving seventy-nine years old Earl nicks his neck; he places toilet paper on the cut only to discover a cyst just like his late dog Blue had. He assumes it is cancer.

Assuming the cyst is a warning sign that he will soon meet his maker, he is determined to do two things before he dies; he needs to regain what he believes he let slide; his ties to his wife and his estranged grandson Daniel, an Alaskan fisherman running away from home since his parents died years ago. Earl campaigns in person with Edith and by letter asking Daniel to come home to his grandpa's "land of success and failure". Mara O'Shaugnessy arrives in town as the new art teacher. She buys a pet, Harvey the Hog. Tim Grennan allows Mara and Harvey to reside on his family's ranch next door to the McRae farm Soon Mara's mischief brings happiness and chaos to all she meets especially her neighbors the McRaes. When Daniel returns, hr is worried about his grandpa dying, but instead he finds his grandparents happy; their catalyst Mara; but even she with her whimsy upbeat demeanor fears she will never reach the soul of the stoic sad fisherman.

This engaging inspirational relationship drama is an interesting tale that rotates points of view between Mara, Edith, Earl and Daniel. Thus the story line is obviously character driven starting with Mara who works her optimistic magic bringing joy to all she meets, especially the elderly McRae couple. Although somewhat stereotyped with its New Age wisdom, Kaya McLaren provides an inspiring story that says fills the cup up if you feel it is half empty.

Harriet Klausner
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 23, 2001
This book wasn't a tear jerker in the sense being tragic, but instead was surprising by eliciting tears of both joy and pain from me. And this book is laugh out loud funny in places. I would have thought that I wouldn't be able to suspend my disbelief in all things psychic or supernatural but Ms. McLaren's lyrical style made it easy to believe in things magical. Hers is a different way of looking at the world. This is a great book for anyone learning to grieve or needing to find connections to the world around them.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 22, 2001
My book discussion group was very priviliged and delighted to have Ms McLaren at our last meeting. She is the very essence of her characters and gives off an 'aura' of such inner tranquility and her sense of humor knows no bounds. We all had the highest praise for her work,the development of her wonderful characters, and the subtle messages that she gently gives us. This is a must read, you will be happily satisfied. This book glows.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 16, 2001
Being a 2yr Highschool Student of Kaya's, I may be a little biased. If asked to describe Church Of The Dog I would use the analagy of Being a fly on the wall while, Sitting Bull, Quintin Terrantino, Bob Dylan, And Henry Rollins shared a morning cup of coffee. Her writing style is very unique as is she. And her phillosophies on life and its anonimities Never ceases to shine a new light on a subject. No matter How many times I've thought about the same thing. Great Job Kaya, I'll be looking forward to reading some more books in the near future.
11 comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 28, 2001
I regretted the need for sleep and the commitment to work and school once I began reading this book. The characters and their stories are infectiously warm and bright. Their richness of depth brings the reader through a spectrum of emotions, from poignancy and despair to joyful, warm delight. Short of having these characters live in my neighborhood where I can indulge often in their wealth, I'll settle for another book by this spirited author. Let's hope it comes soon!
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 12, 2009
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. I can describe it best by sharing that when I finished it, I had the same sensation as when I read a magazine cover-to-cover while sitting in a waiting room.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 6, 2014
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....but I think that the author's view is that dreams forge reality.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.