The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of The Lost Hours, by Karen White

I read this book because, when I went to Amazon looking for another book by White, I saw that this one had better reviews. Granted, Amazon reviews are not to be taken seriously in all cases, but I have used them with some success when gauging the works of an author who is new to me. So I ended up with The Lost Hours, I think it was a good choice, and I’m now more likely to buy some of White’s other books.

The Lost Hours has a minor romance element, as well as a somewhat larger mystery element, but I wouldn’t stick it in either of those genres. The story includes multiple generations of three families in the south, two white and one black-identifying mixed race. Although the present-day protagonists — Piper, Lillian, and Helen — are white, it is the three families’ relationships in the 1930s that create the dilemma Piper faces and the mystery that the elderly Lillian refuses to reveal. Helen, by the way, is blind, and I think she’s fairly sketched, in that she defines herself in terms of her abilities, not her single disability. Piper is still coming to terms with a leg injury she suffered as a competitive equestrian and, having had a college roommate who had lost a limb in a motorcycle accident, I found her lingering issues to be completely plausible. Piper can’t seem to escape being around horses, however, and information in her grandmother’s diary drives her to subterfuge. These were not the most compelling characters, but they were certainly interesting, and the plot was intricate. I recommend this book and look forward to ready more by White.

As for animal lovers who are concerned about the fate of animal characters, I think this book is SAFE despite the fact that Fitz, the horse Piper was riding at the time of her accident, died. His death isn’t shown, nor are the details of the abuse suffered by Captain Wentworth, a horse that Lillian’s grandson Tucker has rescued. Mardi, a dog character, wants to lead (or, more likely, herd) Helen, but she doesn’t need a guide dog and so she humors him by letting him accompany her everywhere. Other animals are mentioned in passing.


January 5, 2010 - Posted by | animals, Book Reviews, dogs, horses | , , , , , , , ,

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