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Dog Days

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Dog Days
By Ericka Walker
Pub Date 11 March 2021

Absolutely loved this anything to do with dogs I’m in I love reading these books. It full of humour and makes you smile while reading such a great read. The cover so pretty and the writing style I love. I loved all the characters in the book and the plot of the story was overwhelming with joy you enjoy this fluffy read  I loved George character as well he was funny witty and caring.
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Dog Days by Ericka Waller – published 11 March 21

I would like to extend my thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for sending me this book in exchange for a fair, frank and honest review.

This book jumped all over the place so leaving it so difficult to get to know the characters. There were so many descriptions about nature and the seaside that it seemed like a travel guide to me. Just could not get into it at all.

2 stars
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I'm so pleased that this book caught my eye and I was delighted to be given the opportunity to read an advanced review copy.

This début is a truly marvellous story. George, Dan and Lizzie are three strangers whose lives are unravelling though they have their dogs by their sides through their respective traumatic journeys. Angry George Dempsey doesn’t want Poppy the Dachshund puppy in his life, nor Betty to rescue him. He only wants Ellen, his adored and deeply loved wife back. Dan James, a counsellor with OCD loves Fitz his golden Labrador and desperately doesn’t want to be attracted to Atticus Finch, his patient. Lizzie is hiding away from life along with her son Lenny in a women’s shelter and has Maud, an overweight Jack Russell, as a companion.

As soon as I began reading Dog Days I knew it was going to pull at my heartstrings. Told from different viewpoints there wasn't anything in this novel to dislike. As the story progressed I came to care for most of the characters, even the cantankerous George who could be downright unpleasant and rude but whose fondness for cricket and good old fashioned home-cooked food survives the death of his kind, capable and tolerant wife Ellen. Dan copes with life through his obsessive counting rituals, but he is a man clearly uncomfortable in his own skin and Lizzie is probably the most complex of the three. Ericka Waller's writing was truly magical in the way she portrayed all manner of moods and emotional states. The secondary characters brought so much to the storyline, too, and the canine ones all provided a comforting presence, either complimenting their owner's personalities or giving support in times of need.

Dog Days is rich in emotion, a truly outstanding début, and I cannot wait to see what Ericka Waller writes next. A fabulously untypical, whimsical and warm, but also immensely sad and distressing contemporary tale that will melt hearts.

A special thank you to Doubleday, Ericka Waller, NetGalley and Pigeonhole for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.
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This book was not what I expected at all, I thought it would be sweet chicklit with dogs in: in fact it was a wonderfully written, emotional , heart wrenching and beautiful book.
The author is very talented in my view, the exploration of relationships and the psyches of three very damaged grieving people trying to find their way to sanity and peace is brilliantly and beautifully written.
The characters are not all likeable, in fact I really disliked course, unkind and mean George, but I came to rather like the old bugger in the end! 
No spoilers but there are a couple of real shockers!
And the dogs, there are dogs of all shapes and sizes, but they all save their humans on some way, as I know so well dogs do.
Golden Retriever Fitz is pure unadulterated joy!
A really wonderful read, exploring the subjects of depression, loss and grief in a unique way, I loved it.
Thank you to Netgalley, Transworld, Random House and Doubleday for the advance copy.
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(TRIGGER WARNING: suicide/finding someone who has committed suicide). 

This book follows three main characters but it seems that their lives may be about to overlap. 

We follow George, a grumpy old man who’s wife Ellen just died, what seems unexpectedly to him but may not have been so sudden in reality. Before passing away, Ellen brought home Poppy, a daschund that she hoped would keep George company once she was gone (but he hates dogs). 

Secondly, we follow Dan, a therapist who seems to have many challenges of his own (OCD/anxiety?).  He has a loyal furry friend called Fitz who helps him out a lot. Dan deals with imposter syndrome a lot, especially in his job. They he meets his new patient Atticus and that feeling becomes even more apparent alongside more confusing feelings. 

Finally we have Liz. Liz was a teacher up until recently and at first her life seems very confusing and dark. She has a young son who she is very protective of and very anxious to let out of her sight. They have just moved in with Tess in a support housing situation. It becomes clear that domestic violence plays a part in her life but things may not be as they seem. 

All three of these characters have a lot going on both in their lives and mentally and while they have people around them trying to help them, they need to help themselves too. 

I liked this book and enjoyed switching between the three characters who start to become intertwined as the story progressed. There were moments where I was shocked, saddened and even brought a smile to my face a few times.  There was a lot of mystery throughout the book and it kept me engaged and intrigued the entire time.
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TW grief, homophobia, spousal abuse, miscarriage, infertility, self harm, suicide.

Good read, not what I expected. Definitely a more in depth and deeper read considering its relatively short length. I wouldn't necessarily say that the synopsis hits the spot with this one, especially since the characters don't really interact in the same circles which is what I felt he synopsis illuded to?

I felt early on that there was more to Lizzie than met the eye, but it was interesting to see how it played out.  I loved how George changed, and bonded with Poppy. And Dan's story was just fabulously done, I could see it playing out and it was at times, difficult to read, but it was so well written that it still hit me like a ton of bricks.

Huge thanks to the publisher for granting me access to Dog Days.
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Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this book and I had mixed feelings about it.  Fortunately it was good enough to finish though it was unusual in the sense that it had three stories that were a little entertwined and I can definitely rate the stories in order of preference.

I loved Lizzie's story complete with a twist which was sad and heartbreaking in parts.  There were things that I suspected that the author expanded upon and I'm not going to give away here.

I felt so so about Dan's story though understood the love affair with his client who was no longer a client because of his interest.  It was interesting reading the development of the story.

I couldn't stand George's story and felt sorry for his poor departed wife who put up with a lot.  The writing was very good though as was the flash back of why his wife chose to be with George.

The strange thing about this book was that even though dogs feature in the book they don't feature enough and could have hero'd the stories more.

I'd recommend this book if you like stories about different people.
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This is a funny and quirky book, with some really great characters not forgetting their dogs. I admit I wasn’t sure about this book until I’d finished the second chapter and then I was hooked. I also have a favourite pair which is George and his little dog Poppy. George also has some great one lines that had me laughing out loud. There should also be a warning with the book as unfortunately there is a suicide which could be a trigger for some people.

George and Poppy his young dachshund. George isn’t in a good place. His wife brought home the little dog, then she passed away. His wife got the dog as she knew she was dying and that he would need something to help him get out and about in hopes that he wouldn’t stop living.

Betty and her rescue dog Lucky. Who George keeps calling unlucky due to all the knitted jumpers Betty knits for him.

Lizzie and Maud. Maud belongs to the woman who runs the women’s shelter where Lizzie and her son Lenny are staying.

Dan and Fits. Dan is a Therapist who is struggling with feeling like a fake therapist. Along with things he’s keeping from his best friend/cousin Luke. Who is actually more like a brother along with his dog Wolfie.

All of these people’s lives end up intermingling. Like Betty and George, George has no idea that Betty received a letter from his dying wife asking her to keep an eye one him. While Lizzie meets Luke by chance while walking Maud. Luke turns out to be her son’s teacher. He tries to take them both under his wing, but not all is right with Lizzie. Then Dan starts to become obsessed with one of his patients Atticus. Who is constantly tempting Dan to cross the lines of Doctor, Patient.

Everything starts to unravel in these characters lives and they all end up crossing paths with each other. Will everything come out in the wash? Will they be able to forgive and move forward as the friends they became?
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I really enjoyed this book.  It had great characters that really came to life and an enjoyable story that kept me engrossed throughout.  Definitely worth a read.
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I loved this book and all 3 of the main characters were completely different with different problems. My favourite character was George and his dog poppy who his wife brought him before she died. He is such a character. 
Then you have Dan who struggles with his sexuality and you see him coming out of his shell after meeting someone. And then Lizzie whose issues may not be what you think they are.
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Truly beautiful read, I loved this so much, it’s a hard read at times, I have to admit I thought it was lighter than this, but it is a heavier read than you’d think, but worth it. I loved Dan and his story the best, George takes time to warm to, but I liked the fact that the characters did develop and you didn’t instantly like them all. This is an emotional read full of friendship, loss, love and of course dogs. A beautiful story I’m so glad that I had the chance to read.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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I expected a light hearted read about people connecting over their love of dogs. But what I got was an emotional, hard going read. The dogs could have been featured more to lighten the tone of the book. The only character I connected with was George, although I hated the way he treated his dog Poppy, I felt his pain at the loss of his wife. And I liked Betty who was trying to help George get back on his feet. The other characters didn’t really do anything for me. All in all, not a bad read but be prepared, it’s not all puppy dogs and rainbows.
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Where to begin? This book follows three central characters:
George, a grumpy, cantankerous old man who isn’t dealing with the death of his wife very well (and he’s a piss poor dog owner to a dachshund puppy)
Lizzie a lady dealing with recently moving into a women’s refuge with her son. Her link to a dog is walking the refuge’s dog.
Dan is a shy counsellor/therapist who has OCD. He has got a sock stealing Golden Labrador called Fitz. 

The start of the book was jarring for me as it felt unnatural to instantly dislike a character! George is not a nice person. It’s understandable that he’s grieving and lashes out a lot. But I hated how poorly he was treating his late wife’s dachshund puppy, it hurt my heart. She still cared for him despite him being a horrible git and therein lies the beautiful nature and heart of dogs. However, I grew to appreciate George and his new friendship. 

Dan’s story stole my heart. I felt all of the emotions and his story is the one that has stuck with me weeks later. Beautiful yet devastating. 

This book is packed full of emotions, grieving, friendships, love and dogs. It will stay with you. 

I received an e-ARC from the publishers in exchange for an honest review, these opinions are my own.
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Not the sort of book I would normally read and to be honest it took me a while to get round to reading it!
I thought this would be completely about dogs but it wasn’t. It was a story about the many forms of mental health and how owning a dog can help. I enjoyed the book.
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A lovely read, such great characters and I felt their pain and sorrow. Plus, who can resist dogs, albeit fictional, being described so lovingly!

Take this one to bed and revel in its warmth.

5*.
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Dog Days is a wonderful novel jam packed with interesting characters and wonderful dogs. Luke and Dan are cousins and best friends who enjoy training together for an iron man competition. But when Atticus walks into Dan’s counselling room, he forces Dan to face his own fears.  
George is heartbroken after the death of his wife, but his wife’s dog Poppy refuses to allow him to wallow in misery. 
Lizzie and her son Lenny are living in a shelter for women surviving domestic abuse, but is everything as it seems?
This book looks at how we can overcome desperate situations with some help from our friends, many of which are the four legged variety.
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Oh, what joy! What a deliciously warm, endearing hug of a book. Dog Days is character-driven fiction at its absolute best — an intimate study of three gloriously human individuals and their private, inner struggle to adapt to change. 

There’s newly widowed George, bewildered, stubborn and cantankerous. He needs his wife, Ellen “like a snail needs its shell”, but she’s gone, leaving him exposed in a way that makes him both angry and scared.

There’s counsellor Dan, an ironic tangle of insecurities and OCD, falling in love for the first time.  His lover makes him feel like “walking into a room with an open fire after missing the bus and walking home in a storm.” But it means owning up to his sexuality. 

And then there’s Lizzie, newly arrived in a women’s refuge with seven year-old Lenny. Brilliant, damaged Lizzie, and the locked away parts of herself that she cannot share. Lizzie, “always outside the circle looking in,” because when others want comfort, all she has to offer are facts and statistics. 

To say that I was invested in each and every one of their stories is an understatement. I lived and breathed them every step of the way, sharing their triumphs and tragedies, their hopes and disappointments, the full, heart-wrenching gamut of their emotions. 

And the dogs! Well, what can I say?  Fitz, Wolfie and Poppy, with their unconditional, uncomplicated devotion, were characters in their own right and played their role as enablers to perfection.  

But what made this novel truly sing for me was Ericka Waller’s prose. It is like a balm; a gentle, warm unguent of words. The imagery, the metaphor, the evocation — all of it is sublime. As is her understanding of the human psyche, in all its nurture and imperfections. 

This is a novel that you need to savor word by word, sentence by sentence, page by page. And when it ends, you’ll feel briefly bereft before reveling in the magic that it was.

My thanks to Random House UK via NetGalley for the digital ARC of this title.
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This was a fab read, I really enjoyed it a lot and feel like it brought up a lot of important issues within the book. 

This take on mental health was important, it also reminds us that it is important to check up on people we know. 

Thank you for this ARC!
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Follow the story of George, Dan and Lizzie

The story takes you on a journey of these three individuals but in the most natural of ways on how their world come together along while they walk  their dogs
It's not a light hearted read though and can be quite dark in parts. Full of emotion and although it made me laugh it also made me cry.
Thanks to#NetGalley for the advance copy in return for an honest review
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Set in Brighton, this is a story about a series of people who all walk their dog at the same place. There is George, who has lost his wife and just wants to wallow in his grief. He is visited by Betty who takes it upon herself to check up on him. He didn't even want his dog but it was his wife's so he puts up with her.
Dan, a councillor, tries to help Atticus but it leads to him coming to terms with secrets in his own life.
Then there's Dan's cousin Luke, a teacher who meets one of his pupil's mum, Lizzie. Lizzie is hiding something, but what can it be?
The characters were all interesting and believable and I cared about them. The narrative is a bit rough round the edges but still an enjoyable read.
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