As a work of historical fiction, a piece of genealogical interest, a story of redemption, an interesting narrative of the value of intergenerational communications, this is a great piece on many levels. It is also extremely well written. The narrators were amazing and added so much to the enjoyment. My only regret is that there was so much profanity in the modern-day section. I suppose it was a purposeful effort to draw a distinction between the generations, but for me it was jarring and unnecessary, particularly with the level of writing in this book. I only wish I could find an edited version to share!
This book kept me in a constant state of heartbreak and support for the author and love for Tuesday. It may take a dog lover to enjoy it as much as I did, but really anyone should appreciate the suffering our veterans with PTSD must endure. It is well-written, perhaps a little repetitious at times, but that is necessary to convey the horrors that are part of PTSD and the wonder of the evolving partnership between human and service dog.
Although Montalvan is not a professional narrator, his reading of the book was marked by sincerity and subdued emotion. It was spell-binding to hear him tell his own story. In the beginning my reaction was that the narration was flat (after all, I will listen to anything that Jim Dale narrates, just to hear his magical voices), but that disappeared rapidly as the story went on. The narration suited the mood of the story perfectly.
The messages are powerful and compelling. As the daughter of a World War II veteran (and career military) and the wife of a Viet Nam veteran I have had a fascination for books about the wars and certainly am familiar with atrocities, but this was my first exposure to the horrors of Iraq and the permanent damage it has caused to many of those who served there. I kept wondering how many thousands of veterans there are who are not receiving helpful treatment and how many could benefit from a service dog. For both my husband and myself it has solidified our commitment to the Wounded Warrior Project. As a chronic, addicted volunteer it is causing me to search in potential volunteer areas I had never before considered.
This book has stayed with me for several days now since I finished it, and I have been talking about it every chance I get. (The first question all my animal-loving friends ask is whether it is sad--as whether the dog dies in the end. And the answer to that is no.)
Thank you, Luis Montalvan, for writing this important book.
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