Wednesday, July 6, 2011


An old man, Sam Peek, has just lost his wife Cora, and his grown children are concerned that he can't take care of himself. Sound familiar? When Sam starts talking about a white dog that no one else has seen, his daughters become increasingly convinced that their father is sinking into dementia. The dog is real, though, and Sam, still in possession of his sense of humor, gets a kick out of inventing dog sightings, just to enjoy his family's horrified reaction. His feistiness gets out of hand, however, when he takes off on a road trip to a college reunion, without telling anyone where he's going. Though a little fearful of the consequences, I enjoyed his pranks, while at the same time, I felt that his kids were very justified in their concern. He may be in command of his faculties, but his judgment is not sound at all. This book is very eloquent in its rendition of this balancing act that many of us have to perform with our aging parents—keeping them safe without threatening their freedom. I thought that the book was a little bit lightweight and too fable-like, but I always enjoy reading about familiar places, particularly in Georgia. Elberton, Madison and Athens all get a mention, so that the setting is just as familiar as the storyline.

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