When I saw that Jon Katz had a new book coming out--and that it was a novel about a dog--I grabbed it. His writing about dogs speaks to me, not really of how I might know dogs, but how I might know myself. If a dog is to be the agent of that, I don't mind at all.
Rose in a Storm: A Novel is the story of an upstate New York farmer and his border collie Rose, connected by their work on the farm and battling a ferocious winter storm. The story is entirely from Rose's point of view; Rose, with her overpowering work ethic, her sharp senses, her instincts and intelligence, her unflagging sense of responsibility for all the creatures threatened by the snow and killing cold, and her loyalty to the people who share her life on the farm. She's a strong and vivid main character and her courage made me cry more than once as I was reading--though please be assured that the ending will leave you satisfied.
In our society of pampered pets, Rose is a very different sort of dog, still in touch with her wildness though her interests are fully aligned with her human "pack." Since I'm not well-versed in the research, I can't begin to comment on how real Katz's portrayal of a dog's consciousness may be. I can only say that it felt real to me and was a thoroughly absorbing read. All keen readers have sat up far too late from time to time, absorbed in a book that just won't let them go; which books grab you is a very personal thing. For me, those books (both fiction and non-fiction) often involve a struggle that tests the limits and the character of the protagonist. "Rose" is one of those books that wouldn't let me go. This dog has so much heart, don't be surprised if you feel like a stronger person yourself after reading her story.
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