Ranger is an old dog, chained in a space underneath a tilting house. The calico cat and her kittens love Ranger, but they know to avoid the evil human who lumbers in and out of the tilted house. A giant alligator lurks in the bayou. His friend, a long-forgotten creature, nurses her vengeance. All of their stories intertwine, as the characters struggle with loss and survive with hope. Some seek love and companionship, others seek victory. This is a story about the seeking.
If it breaks your heart to read about terrible things happening to innocent characters, do not read this book. Do not. If you can read past the pain, you will find a lyrically written story about the beauty in love, hope, and loyalty. And you will very likely need a box of tissues.
There is a chance that older readers may dismiss the book as being too childish at first glance--books with talking animals might seem better left to the elementary set. It is a very distinctive book, and its difference may require some perseverance on the part of the reader. However, this story is rich with universal themes and should not disappoint.
"He didn't know that he needed to not be so solitary until at last he wasn't. So many needs in one old dog."
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