Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
Witty, Fun and Inspirational
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.