REVIEW: Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

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Goodreads Blurb
The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details.

We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without.

For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog.

Lily and the Octopus reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all.

Lily and the Octopus is one of those books that the less you know before reading it the better so my review may seem a little vague. That being said,  I picked this book as my first book to review for a couple of reasons. One, I read it about a month ago AND I still think about this book! I know it’s being compared to The Art of Racing in the Rain which in some ways it’s similar but it really deserves to stand on its own because not only will this book cause some tears (or in my case many) but it’s FUNNY! The banter between Ted and Lily is so endearing and witty…yes Lily talks..and for those of us with dogs (mine’s a lab) we know what it’s like to carry on conversations with our dogs…right? It’s not just me I hope:) In terms of Ted himself, we find out pretty quickly that he’s a lonely guy trying to cope after a  breakup with his partner so he’s seeing a (bad) therapist named Jenny. His thoughts about and interactions with Jenny were some of the best written, most sarcastic, wittiest parts of the book. Again, you will laugh!

Ok, the other reason I chose this book is I feel it’s a VERY big word-of-mouth book and I want to try to get the word out that I think everyone–not just dog lovers–would enjoy this book. It literally showed up on my porch after my fellow book loving friend called me to ask if I had read it which I hadn’t because I had never heard of it! She dropped it off that day, I read a few pages, and promptly neglected everything else and by 1:00am I was drying my eyes and wishing I hadn’t read it so fast.  All this isn’t to say I had no issues with the book. There is a section involving an octopus hunt that is filled with magical realism that I have to say just didn’t work for me. In my opinion, that all could’ve been left out and the story would’ve been just as good. But that’s a minor issue. If you enjoy original books with endearing characters that stay with you, you’ll love this.

5/5 stars

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