Today I hand over the blog to Mandie who is taking part in the blog tour for Dan Knew by F J Curlew. Mandie will be sharing her review with us in just a moment, but first lets take a look at what the book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
A Ukrainian street dog is rescued from certain death by an expat family. As he travels to new countries with them a darkness grows and he finds himself narrating more than just his story. More than a dog story. Ultimately it’s a story of escape and survival but maybe not his.
The world through Wee Dan’s eyes is told in a voice that will stay with you long after you turn that last page.
The animals in this book are all real, as are their stories. The people’s names have been changed to protect their privacy. Fact or fiction? Well, dogs can’t talk, can they?
In Dan Knew we meet a street pup who after managing to escape being picked up by the dog catchers gets separated from his family. He is rescued by a young girl called Lucy and adopted by her family.
I have a confession to make, I am a huge dog lover and so when I was asked if I would read and review a book about a rescued puppy told from their perspective I jumped at the chance. What intrigued me the most was how the author was going to capture the events of everything going on in the voice of a four legged character whilst keeping the reader engaged.
The story starts slowly while we get to know Dan and his new family and I was a little confused as to who the main characters were going to be and it did have me wondering if I was going to enjoy the book. Turns out I was worrying over nothing. Through Dan’s eyes you got to experience so much more than a life of a dog and I found that the way the author described even the smallest thing had my imagination going and it didn’t matter if I had never visited a place or even fully knew where they were. You also got to see the relationships between the humans that looked after him and because of this it then became much more than a story about a street dog. This is also when I really became engrossed in the book and found that I could not put it down. The relationship between “mum” and “him” as Dan calls them is quite volatile and you get to see how this affects all the animals in the home as much as the humans, which quite often you don’t think about.
The story covers 14 years between 2002 & 2016 moving from the Ukraine right through to Scotland with a few other places dotted in between, although if some of the chapter titles didn’t actually tell me where they currently were I would not have known. But as dogs don’t read (or at least we are not sure that they do) Dan could hardly have put that into his story.
I have no idea how the author managed to capture so much of a dog’s personality and the little things that they do, but she must have infinite patience as while reading the book I could often picture my dog doing some of the same things as Dan during the puppy stage, and would find myself smiling at them.
I have to admit I have struggled to write a review for this book, not because I didn’t like it because I loved it. My main struggle is that because it is so descriptive and well written, I feel that I won’t do it justice and I could give the whole book away. I have read a couple of books now from the animal’s perspective and for me this is the best by far. It details real lives and day to day events with no guarantee of a happy ending. There are so many things as humans we do that we don’t realise affect our pets, yet by writing the whole story in the way that she did, the author has shown another side to everything.
My thanks to the author for the advance copy of this book in return for my review. It is available now from the following links.
About the Author
Fiona dropped out of school aged 15, because being the consummate rebel, she hated it! After becoming a single parent she decided to return to education, graduating in 1996 with an honours degree in primary education. Ah, the irony!
As soon as she graduated she packed everything she owned into her Renault 11, including her daughter, two dogs and a cat, and headed off to Estonia to become an international school teacher. After fifteen years of teaching, predominantly in Eastern Europe, she returned to the UK .
She now lives on the east coast of Scotland with two Scottish rescue dogs and a disgruntled Portuguese cat.
Fiona is the author of two books:
To Retribution – A love story/political thriller set in times of turmoil.
Dan Knew – A fictionalised account of her travels told through the eyes of Dan, her rescued Ukrainian street dog.
Make sure to check out some of the other brilliant blogs taking part in the tour.