Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Dog That Talked to God

How does a person of faith go on living after tragedy strikes? This is the major question facing 43 year-old, recently widowed, burned-out novelist, Mary Fassler in The Dog That Talked to God by Jim Kraus (The Silence). Disillusioned by the platitudes offered by well-meaning friends and family in an effort to ease her inconsolable grief, Mary--shaken, lost and confused--decides to adopt Rufus, a Schnauzer puppy, in the hope he will offer her companionship. During their daily walks through the suburbs of Chicago, Mary talks to Rufus, railing against a God from whom she feels estranged and abandoned while trying to make sense of a past she can't let go of and the prospect of a lonely, uncertain future. One day, Rufus unexpectedly talks back to Mary and informs her that he is in regular communication with The Almighty. When he begins to relay messages from God, Mary begins to pine less and listen more.

Rufus becomes the impetus for Mary to reconcile her life. This dog-savior scenario is plausible because Rufus is a lovable, quirky, gentle soul, and Mary's philosophical, humorous, and refreshingly honest narrative buoys an otherwise heartbreaking predicament. As Mary interacts with family, friends, her literary agent and new love interests, her unwitting spiritual recovery propels her to pack up and set off, with Rufus, on a pilgrimage in search of a whole new life. Kraus's novel is an entertaining, deeply engrossing portrait of what it means to be fully human and fully alive.

The Dog That Talked to God by Jim Kraus
Abingdon Press, $14.99, Trade Paper, 9781426742569, 278 pp
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
To order this book via INDIEBOUND link HERE

Please note: This review is a reprint and is being posted (in a slightly different form) with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (3/9/12), click HERE.