Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances by Ellen Cooney

Title: The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances
Author: Ellen Cooney
Format: ARC
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publish Date: August 5, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the author and publisher; however, that did not affect my review.

What's the Story?:

The Sanctuary. High up on the mountain, the Sanctuary is a place of refuge. It is a place where humans save dogs, who, in turn, save the humans. It is a place where the past does not exist, where hopelessness is chased away, where the future hasn’t been written, where orphans and strays can begin to imagine a new meaning for “family.”

Evie is making her way to the Sanctuary. She has lied to gain entry. She has pretended to know more than she does about dogs, but she is learning fast. Once the indomitable Mrs. Auberchon lets her pass, she will find her way. Like the racing greyhound who refuses to move, the golden retriever who returns to his job as the Sanctuary’s butler every time he’s adopted, and the Rottweiler who’s a hopeless candidate for search-and-rescue, Evie comes from a troubled past. But as they all learn, no one should stay prisoner to a life she didn’t choose.

This is the story of two women and a whole pack of dogs who, having lost their way in the world, find a place at a training school—and radical rescue center—called the Sanctuary. It is a story of strays and rescues, kidnappings and homecomings, moving on and holding on and letting go. And it is, ultimately, a moving and hilarious chronicle of the ways in which humans and canines help each other find new lives, new selves, and new hope.

My Two Cents:

In "The Mountaintop School for Dogs," Evie is sort of a lost soul. She is a recovering addict that knows that she needs to save herself by doing something different. She is just floating and is not really sure where she belongs. She is not really a dog lover when she comes to the school but she likes the idea of having some stability in here life. She doesn't know how much good she is going gain in the end. This is a heartwarming tale and definitely tugged on my heart strings!

I am definitively an animal lover. While I only have cats right now, I dream of having a dog someday so I loved all of the dogs in this book. I really liked how Cooney gave each dog their own unique personality and they definitely become an important part of Evie growing and changing throughout the book. We also have the indomitable Mrs. Auberchon, the proprietress of the school. I really liked her character as well. She gives Evie all the tools that she needs in order to really make something of her life without pushing her to do things that she does not want to do. She is the master of subtly pushing Evie and was a welcome addition to the book.

This book is definitely about how animals have the power to save us, which is something that I believe in very deeply. We get to see how Evie is so timid with all of the dogs at first and how she realize that they need just as much from her as she needs from them. I love how the book unfolds and I was definitely pulled into Evie's story. Overall, this is a great pick for animal lovers looking for a cozy story!



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