From Publishers Weekly
Markoe (It's My F—ing Birthday
) delivers a light-on-its-paws account of dog-lover Dawn Tarnauer's canine-led quest for love. Twice-divorced Dawn is the product of a fantastically dysfunctional family (Dawn's sister, Halley, is an overly enthusiastic life coach, her mother is a struggling entrepreneur and her former smalltime rockabilly musician father invests "a lot of time into perfecting... authentic fifties outfits"); her dog, Chuck, begins talking to her after dud radio-DJ boyfriend Paxton dumps her. Though other dogs can also suddenly communicate with Dawn (including Johnny Depp, a friend's dog), Chuck remains the leading pooch as he plies his master with sage advice and astute observations—"He seemed humpy," Chuck opines about one suitor; "Who doesn't like puppies? That's psychotic," he muses about Paxton—as she negotiates the standard fare of chick lit (losing her job, getting mixed up with wacky beaus, aiding her friends through their respective crises, finding a place to live). Until, that is, Chuck runs away, forcing Dawn to realize her true love may not be a biped. Off-beat enough to stand out of the pack. (Aug.)
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*Starred Review* When her latest boyfriend leaves her for another woman, twice-divorced Angeleno Dawn Tarnauer buries her face in the fur of her mixed-breed canine, Chuck, and cries. The dog, it seems, sensed trouble all along. "I should have said something before," he laments in a gravelly voice. "Couldn't you smell her on his pants?" Has Dawn gone nuts, or is her dog actually talking to her? This latest offering from multiple Emmy winner and one-time David Letterman head writer Markoe (It's My F***ing Birthday,
2002) may be her best yet, delivering the drama, dark humor, and dysfunctional characters that have become the author's cachet. There's Halley, Dawn's dim, cell phone-addicted sister, determined to succeed in her new career as a Life Coach (thanks to the encouragement of her friend, convicted-killer Scott Peterson); their woefully nonmaternal mother, Joyce, inventor of the hokey but potentially very profitable Every Holiday Tree; and Dawn herself, a tall, blonde California beauty who feels more comfortable sharing confidences with mongrels than men. Markoe's fans will delight in her hilarious doggy dialogue, as when Chuck enlightens his owner on the topic of urination: "There's two kinds of peeing," he says. "There's regular peeing, because you have to pee. And then there's auxiliary competitive peeing. For acquiring an empire. I'm all about the real estate." Allison BlockCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved