Oprah has a new book club choice: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.
Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peaceful home.
When Edgar's father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm—and into Edgar's mother's affections.
Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father's death, but his plan backfires—spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father's murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.
This is not a book I would normally read -- I'm not exactly into books about kids, the cold north mid-west or dogs. But it came so highly recommended that I actually broke down and read it. I'm glad I did.
This 500+ page tome is a modern day Hamlet retold. And some of it is even retold by Almondine (the dog). This really shouldn't work, but somehow (magically) it does. Now, I know that handicapped kids and pets can make a toxic mix of sentimentality. But Wroblewski writes with such grace and energy that Edgar Sawtelle never succumbs to that danger.
The great thing about having so many pages to work with is that the author takes his time setting the story. The first hundred pages are very laid back and tell all about the family and the farm, And then, just as you are totally engrossed the drama begins.
It is a little slow going in the beginning but worth the effort of hanging in there. Especially if you have memories of a beloved childhood pet. Eventually I got so far into Edgar and Almondine's world that coming back to my daily reality was something of a shock!
For once, I agree that Oprah has picked a winner.
The current price is $19.95 but since it will soon be a best seller that price will be discounted to $17.95. And yet . . .
I want you to have the experience of a great book. So eBooks About Everything is offering the book at $14.00. Use coupon Oprah10 at checkout to claim your discounted price.