A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Originally I gave A Dog's Purpose 4 stars, but upon reflection and returning to *finally* write my review, I have bumped my rating up to 5 stars.
This book is unlike any other I have read, specifically with the perspective it offers. The only two other books who are somewhat comparable are The Art of Racing in the Rain and Beautiful Joe.
However, Cameron crafts a different and unique tale about the purpose of a dog. The story begins with an introduction to Bailey, a chocolate lab who becomes a faithful companion to a young boy named Ethan. Together they grow up, Bailey following Ethan around through his adolescence, high school, dating and eventual leaving for college.
Sadly, our dogs don't live nearly as long as we do and Ethan is forced to say good-bye to his dog Bailey. Bailey is convinced that he is at the end of his life journey, so he is surprised and disappointed to find himself waking up in another dog’s body.
This happens a few times over. Bailey returns as other dogs and slowly begins to forget/lose his memories of his life with Ethan. As he adapts to life as this new dogs (even as a female dog at one point!), he still wonders to himself what his life about and whether he will ever stop returning in different forms.
There is an ineffable poignancy to this book as we discover in the end what Bailey’s TRUE purpose in his life is. I won’t give away the ending because I do believe this is a must read for all dog lovers. Cameron’s tale is whimsical and charming. During the entire read I was cheering on Bailey and trying to figure out with him what he was put on earth for.
5/5 stars for a beautiful book that will enamour you and make you wonder what your dog is really thinking and what his purpose in life is.
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