When twenty-four-year old Evie arrives at the Sanctuary for the first time, she feels so out of place. Since the Sanctuary is a place that rescues dogs from all situations, what would possess Evie to lie on her job application telling her new boss that she had plenty of experience training dogs? Now, facing her new job, she knows she’s in way too deep. She fears eventually they’ll all see through the façade that she truly knows nothing about dogs, let alone dog training. But as each day passes, she begins to learn some information that will help her along. Is she able to pull off keeping her job?
I have to be honest and say that this book wasn’t anything that I thought it would be. The blurb sounded interesting, but when I started reading it, I wasn’t pulled into the storyline as much as I had hoped I would be. To me, the story never really picked up any momentum and it just fell flat the entire time. The canine characters’ personalities were the only thing that kept me turning the pages. Another thing that I’d like to mention is there were so many run-on sentences, which in turn, became a complete distraction for me. Overall, the book helped me to pass the time. Beside the canine characters being as lovable as they were, the rest of the story just didn’t resonate with me as I had hoped it would considering just how huge an animal lover I am.
Sanctuary. Place of refuge. Training school. Command center for The Network. Home for strays and rescued dogs.
Evie is stuck at The Inn, managed by the stern and mysterious Mrs. Auberchon, although she’s supposed to join a training program at The Sanctuary. That’s what she signed up for—never mind that she lied and doesn’t know the first thing about animals except what she’s learned from a breed guide, from the notes someone keeps leaving, and from videos online, like one that asks: Please can more people be nicer to dogs?
Once up on the mountain with staffers, volunteers, and her dog students, Evie takes notes on the new things she’s learning. Alpha. Forgiveness. Play. Rehabilitation. Like the racing greyhound who refuses to move, the golden retriever who returns every time he’s adopted, and the rottweiler who’s a hopeless candidate for search-and-rescue, Evie came from a troubled past. She writes: “Rescue. Best. Verb. Ever.” As she creates her own training manual, she may even write an entry on herself.
A worthy shelf-mate to books by Garth Stein and Carolyn Parkhurst, this is a brilliantly engaging novel about finding fellow animals who may bring you a deeper sense of home, healing, and the power of inventing a future.