The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe, by Jennie Shortridge

I don’t remember how I discovered Jennie Shortridge, but this is the third book of hers I’ve read, and it’s the third I’ve enjoyed. I have a copy of her new book, which just came out, and I’m fully expecting to like it as well.

Love and Biology is the story of Mira Serafino, mother, wife, daughter, friend, teacher, and runaway. Because just when it seems that things are as close to perfect as they’re going to get, perpetually rebelling young adult daughter notwithstanding, Mira learns that her husband is having an emotional affair that is probably also a physical affair. She cracks up, sort of, and after allowing her favorite of the family’s three dogs to leap into the car with her, begins driving until said car breaks down in Seattle.

Seattle = coffee, unless you think Seattle = Microsoft. Let’s stick with the first definition. Mira did.

Mira becomes the manager of The Coffeeshop at the Center of the Universe, meets some people, has sex with men other than her husband, gets a new haircut, and otherwise deals with her new situation by refusing to confront it directly. Her daughter won’t talk to her, she won’t talk to her husband, and the fact that the book even has an ending seems like nothing short of a miracle, at least through most of the story. However, few stalemates last forever, and Shortridge doesn’t tip her hand very far in advance as to how she’s reconciling this one.

Thea, the daughter, annoyed the hell out of me, but I liked most of the other characters, who were fairly vivid. I also liked the way Shortridge unravelled Mira’s self-discovery and changes. The story moves slowly but never bogs down, and so I’m recommending this book.

As for animals, Patsy Cline is the dog who goes to Seattle with Mira, and Patsy does just fine. Two other dogs are fosters that also end up with good outcomes. So this book is completely SAFE for animal lovers. Enjoy!

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November 29, 2009 - Posted by | beach book, Book Reviews, dogs, families |

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