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Pug Hill Paperback – May 2, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425209717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425209714
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Hope McNeil is an art restorer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. At 31, she thinks she should be getting married and having kids, but she doesn't like the guy she met via online dating, she has a crush on a coworker, and her parents have asked her to make a speech at their fortieth wedding anniversary celebration despite her terror of public speaking. Her favorite place is Pug Hill in Central Park, where pug fanciers bring their dogs to frolic. Hope doesn't have her own pug but always feels revitalized just by watching the dogs at play. Signing up for a class on overcoming presentation anxiety, Hope meets quirky people with unusual problems who she wouldn't have encountered elsewhere and is motivated to try to figure out what she wants in life. Pace's very leisurely chick-lit novel is at its best when Hope is surrounded by dogs, and its neatly wrapped-up conclusion does promise love. Diana Tixier Herald
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

There's a terrific comedic eye at work here, and a tender heart --a most satisfying combination. -- Elinor Lipman, author of The Inn at Lake Devine and My Latest Grievance

More About the Author

Hi. I'm the author of the novels IF ANDY WARHOL HAD A GIRLFRIEND, PUG HILL, THROUGH THICK AND THIN, CITY DOG and A PUG'S TALE, and of an essay collection, YOU TELL YOUR DOG FIRST. I live in New York City where I teach creative writing (and I'm working on another book.)

For some more about me and my writing, please visit my website at alisonpace.com or say hi on facebook.com/alisonpacebooks.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this to anybody who loves good chick books!
BeatleBangs1964
Readers will find themselves cheering Hope on as she attempts to work through her doubts and fears.
Kristin Harmel
I found the main character very annoying and the book as a whole was very slow - - not enough pugs!
Cindy Linman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kristin Harmel on May 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
In Alison Pace's charming second novel PUG HILL, Metropolitan Museum of Art conservationist Hope McNeill is an endearingly neurotic basket case. She has a squash-playing boyfriend who she's not happy with, a coworker she's in (unrequited) love with, and a fear of public speaking, which suddenly becomes an issue when her parents call and ask her to give a speech for their 40th anniversary.

Hope is like no other character in women's fiction. She loves the Zoloft commercial on TV and find comfort in its animated bouncing egg. Her narration is a constant stream of dead-on observations about dating and human nature that will make every reader smile broadly and nod in agreement at least once every few pages. And her main source of solace in Manhattan is Pug Hill, a grassy hill on Central Park's east side around 74th Street, where pugs from all over the city convene. No, Hope doesn't have a pug herself, but she finds peace, happiness and relaxation in watching the pugs romp and spin around without a care in the world.

"For Holly Golightly, there was always Tiffany's," Hope says in the book's opening paragraph. "No matter what was going wrong in her life, she always had Tiffany's. For me, there's always Pug Hill."

But even Pug Hill can't provide the solace Hope craves when she breaks up with the squash-playing Evan and decides to finally face her fear of public speaking by signing up for a course called Overcoming Presentation Anxiety, which meets on Thursday nights for the next six weeks. Her classmates are wacky (and one is even a cute guy!), and with the help of frequent visits to Pug Hill and a few embarrassments in class, Hope begins to discover a faith in herself that she never knew she had.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Costanzo on June 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Alison Pace is clearly a very talented writer. The way she draws you in from the first pages of Puf HIll is wonderful. Not only is this book laugh-out-loud funny, it is witty, thoughtful, and sweet. Pace spins an engaging and immensely enjoyable narrative which I really identified with personally. This book is pure joy. I highly recommend a visit to Pug Hill!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Mlynowski on June 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Pug Hill is the smart and sweet story of one woman's search for happiness (and fearlessness) in the big city. You'll cheer for the witty and loveable Hope McNeill from page one. But be warned: not only will this book make you want to immediately buy Alison Pace's other work, you'll probably want to run out and adopt a pug.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chick with Book on July 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Alison Pace's debut, IF ANDY WARHOL HAD A GIRLFRIEND, is one of my favorite novels. So I was very excited to read her follow up, PUG HILL.

Hope McNeil is a 31 year old art restorer for the Metropolitian Museum of Art. She has an unrequited crush on Elliot, a fellow restorer, who sadly doesn't seem to know she exists except as a co-worker. Her boyfriend looks good on paper but is somewhat lacking in person. Worst of all, her parents want her to give a speech at their fortieth anniversary party, and nothing fills Hope with more dread.

The one thing in Hope's life that constantly gives her joy is Pug Hill, a section of Central Park where pug owners can let their dogs roam free. Hope doesn't have a pet, but Pug Hill is her refuge, her place of recharge. But even Pug Hill lets her down when she skips out of work one afternoon to discover no dogs are around.

Hope finally takes charge of her life, a little, by signing up for a class in overcoming presentation anxiety at the New School. Together with her fellow classmates, Hope works on overcoming her crippling fear of public speaking while also learning unexpected insights about herself and her new acquaintances.

PUG HILL is a quiet novel. Hope is very introspective, a reactive and passive character, and the first half of the novel drags a little. But Pace's clever way with words keeps the reader interested, and the pace picks up once Hope enrolls in class. By the end, I was thoroughly charmed and rooting for Hope, so much so that I bought the fairy tale-esque ending hook, line and sinker.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on May 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
I don't have words to express how much I LOVED Pug Hill!

Not only is this book a fun, hilarious read, but the author really captured the essence of big city life -- for both people and pugs!

As a New Yorker myself, I completely identified with Hope McNeil's (the heroine) hopes, fears, and insecurities. And I totally appreciated her wit -- it had me laughing aloud! I was also laughing aloud at the spot-on description of the pugs in the book. As a pug owner, I'm accustomed to all the little tricks pugs pull to get their way, and Alison Pace has captured those 100%.

I cheered Hope McNeil on through the entirety of this book, I laughed at her snide New Yorker quips and her hilarious turn in public speaking class, and I cried when she made realizations about life, love and family that we all need to make in our own lives.

The bottom line is that Pace has done something that few authors can do: She's written a book that's both entertaining and insightful. A book that makes you both laugh at your life and appreciate your life at the same time.

(And of course the pugs are adorable!)
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