Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson
Even though the title is similar to another I reread (A Dog named Christmas), it's actually quite different. Here, in The Christmas Dog, the dog is the catalyst, not the main character/focus of the story. The real focus of the story is actually on loving your neighbour.
For some reason, the first line really grabbed my attention. It goes "As Betty Kowalski drove home from church on Sunday, she realised she was guilty of two sins. First of all, she felt envious, perhaps even lustful - of Marsha Deerwood's new leather jacket." Apart from the fact that Kowalski is the name of one of the penguins from the show Penguins of Madagascar (I watch it with my brother), the begining brings to mine some of the seven deadly sins - lust and envy, and manages to remind me of the sinful human nature even while I read this warm fuzzy Christmas tale.
The plot is actually quite simple. It's a story about "killing" people with kindness and how we can sometimes struggle to actually carry it out. Even though the story felt relatively short, the characters (enough characters for me), seem real, with their human follibles and what not. The dog, unfortunately, doesn't get much writing space, since here, it is clear that humans are the alpha dogs (yes, the lame pun was fully intentional).
I would suppose that if you're looking for a quick Christmas read, this would be a very good alternative. And since Christmas is a specific period of the year, the book has a short "shelf-life" as for when it's appropraite. Which is why, my next review (and I will do it before Christmas, maybe by tomorrow), will be An Irish Christmas by Melody Carlson.