Monday, November 7, 2016
The Secret Life of Souls - Disturbingly Haunting!
AUTHORS: Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee
PUBLISHER: Pegasus Books
PUBLISHING DATE: November 8, 2016
FROM GOODREADS: At the heart of this psychological suspense novel is the haunting depiction of a family’s fall and the extraordinary gifted dog, Caity, who knows the truth. As the drama unfolds Caity evolves from protector to savior, from scapegoat to prop, and eventually, from avenger to survivor. She is an unselfish soul in a selfish world—and she is written with depth and grace by authors Ketchum and Mckee, who display a profound understanding of a dog’s complex emotions. With her telling instincts and her capacity for joy and transformative love, Caity joins the pantheon of great dogs in contemporary literature.
Eleven year old actress Delia Cross is beautiful, talented, charismatic. A true a star in the making. Her days are a blur of hard work on set, auditions and tutors. Her family—driven, pill-popping stage mother Pat, wastrel dad Bart, and introverted twin brother Robbie—depends on her for their upscale lifestyle. Delia in turn depends on Caity, her beloved ginger Queensland Heeler—and loyal friend—for the calming private space they share. Delia is on the verge of a professional break through. But just as the contracts are about to be signed, there is a freak accident that puts Delia in the danger zone with only Caity to protect her.
MY THOUGHTS: This book was beautiful and haunting, yet nasty and disturbing all at the same time. While I loved the writing and the immediate connection I felt with Delia and Caity, I am once again faced with the fact that some of the most horrific "creatures" in horror tales are humans themselves. The story centers around Delia Cross, a child actor, her twin brother Robbie, and her parents Patricia and Bart. Delia has grown up in front of the camera and early on, the reader is quite aware that the family is surviving and making a living off of Delia's talent. Meanwhile, Delia is missing her childhood and is wise beyond her years. Robbie, Delia's twin brother, often feels left out of the family dynamic and he is at the root of a trick which goes horribly wrong and leaves Delia injured and the family struggling now that their "cash cow" can no longer work as she once did. And I mustn't forget Caity! Caity is a 3 year old Queensland Heeler. She is loyal and brave and tolerant. She loves her life, but more importantly, she loves Delia. Originally bought to be Caity and Robbie's first pet, the bond she forms with Caity is immeasurable and by the end of the novel, the reader fully comprehends that the two of them are connected souls. I also felt so badly for Robbie. He is a forgotten child in this dysfunctional family and is probably already smarter than his mother and father put together. The way he acts in the beginning is not out of cruelty, simply out of confusion and I found it extremely easy to forgive him as the book continued.
As I eluded, this book is downright nasty at times. I absolutely could not stand Patricia and Bart. Patricia is clearly trying to be a "stage mom" and fulfill some desire she had to be a famous actor which obviously failed. Bart loves expensive toys and at the best of times, is totally clueless about what goes on in his household. Being a dog lover, there were parts of this book which were hard for me to stomach. However, I don't think the author's should have changed a thing because everything that happens is integral to the story and makes the end that much more satisfying.
It's hard to talk about this book and not give anything away. I didn't know a whole lot about the plot when I started reading and I think it's almost better to go into it that way. If you are a dog lover, you simply mist rush out to the nearest store and grab a copy when it is released November 8th. I always believed that dogs were 4-legged miracles and Caity definitely fits that description.
I received a beautiful copy of "The Secret Life of Souls" from Pegasus in exchange for an honest review.
RATING: 5 PAWS
BOOKER T's THOUGHTS: I just want to thank the authors for showing people how important our humans are to us dogs. Cassius and I love Mommy and Daddy dearly and Caity is an inspiration to us both!