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A Man of His Own Paperback – January 27, 2015
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With her latest novel, Wilson (The Dog Who Danced, 2012) offers up a sort of War Horse for dog lovers. In this case, Pax, the beloved pet of budding baseball player Rick Stanton and his young wife, Francesca, joins the army’s K-9 Corps during WWII. Pax performs heroically under fire, earning the undying devotion of his soldier-trainer Keller Nicholson. As the war ends, an unusual love triangle forms when Keller reluctantly returns Pax to Rick, only to discover that Rick, who also served in the army, has been paralyzed in combat. Keller stays on with the Stantons to serve as Rick’s aide and to remain close to Pax, who is torn between a sense of duty to two doting masters. Wilson alternates narrative perspectives among her human and canine characters, with Pax’s intuitive perception of events providing insight into the household’s shifting moods and dynamics. As Rick sinks into a deep depression, readers of the author’s previous works won’t be surprised that it’s Pax who provides the healing touch when all else fails. --Patty Wetli --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
“With deft brushstrokes and an earthy delivery, Wilson develops strong characters caught together first hand and afar through years of confrontation and frustration. And through Pax, that bond and feisty spirit is magnified in a refreshing manner that connects powerfully to the reader.” ―Seattle Kennel Club
“With her latest novel, Wilson offers up a sort of War Horse for dog lovers.” ―Booklist
“A Nicholas Sparks–ian romantic drama, with an "everyone loves a dog" twist.” ―Kirkus
“The last few pages bring an unexpected ending that will call for a few tissues as readers smile through tears.” ―Best Friends Magazine
“Susan Wilson dishes up another captivating story that will keep you hooked until the last page is turned.” ―Modern Dog magazine on The Dog Who Danced
“I would unhesitatingly recommend this book to dog lovers and "non-dog" people alike.” ―BellaDog on The Dog Who Danced
“The Dog Who Danced simply can't be missed.” ―The Augusta Chronicle on The Dog Who Danced
“An emotion-packed story. As with Marley and Me and The Art of Racing in the Rain, it's hard not to like a book where a dog is a major player.” ―Kirkus Reviews on The Dog Who Danced
“Superior. A moving tale about canine healing power.” ―Booklist on The Dog Who Danced
“Multiple hankies, dog lovers…this is an emotional read.” ―Library Journal on The Dog Who Danced
“Real people, real dog―real life.” ―Cesar’s Way on The Dog Who Danced
“Fans of Wilson's One Good Dog, or new readers looking for a heartwarming tale of the bond between human and animal, will find plenty to enjoy.” ―Publishers Weekly on The Dog Who Danced
“A wonderful novel: a moving, tender, and brilliantly crafted story.” ―Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, on One Good Dog
“A finely wrought story of second chances and also of the power of the human/canine bond.” ―Bark Magazine on One Good Dog
“One Good Dog will make you cry, will make you laugh, will make you feel things more than you thought possible--and it will make you believe in second chances.” ―Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author, on One Good Dog
“[One Good Dog] evokes both laughter and tears, but the ending assures you that humans and dogs are capable of redemption.” ―Library Journal on One Good Dog
“Fans of Marley and Me will find a new dog to cheer for in Wilson's insightful heart-tugger…Old Yeller's got nothing on this very good man and his dog story.” ―Publishers Weekly on One Good Dog
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If you have read Susan Wilson's other books (especially One Good Dog), you know what a good writer she is. I'm a bigger fan of cats than dogs, but these books are great stories and you don't have to be a dog lover to appreciate them.
This is the story of a German Shepherd mix breed dog who is found by Rick when he is just a puppy. He names the dog Pax and both of their lives are changed forever.
When Rick goes to war, his wife and he decide to also send Pax to take part in the "Dogs for Defense" program where certain dogs are trained to go to war and sniff out the enemy, alert the soldiers, and perform a variety of essential functions. Pax is excellent at the work and the book shows his handler, Keller, as Pax saves his life.
At the end of the war, Pax and Keller go to see Rick and Francesca, but Rick is seriously wounded and has lost an arm and use of his legs. Keller wants to keep Pax but Rick wants and needs him, too.
The only fault I could find in this book is that I would have liked to have known at least a little more about how Rick and Francesca cope when Keller eventually leaves them.
I didn't care for Wilson's second book (The Dog Who Could Dance) since the ending seemed cold-hearted. In this book, she returns to her heartfelt writing in a big way.
This book is a great way to spend a few evenings by a cozy fire.