Saturday, May 15, 2010
Book Review--Dog Boy
The following book review appeared in the May/June 2010 edition of OFF THE SHELF
By Eva Hornung
HarperCollins, hardcover, $29.99
Reviewed by Breila von Holstein-Rathlou
This is the first review I have ever written to let people know what I have read and if I have enjoyed it. So here it goes.
When I began to read Dog Boy by Eva Hornung, I quickly grew weary of the story. However I pushed myself to read further to prove I could read something out of my normal genre. I am glad I did. I got pulled into the story of Romochka and his unique family. When a child is raised by dogs a normal reaction is to feel sorry for the child--we are confused, and believe he is growing up in an unhealthy environment. However in the pages of Dog Boy you are compelled to love his family, revel in their victories, feel the pack's fear, and suffer their losses, even if they cannot.
Romochka grows up with a pack of dogs, but he is a boy. He cannot smell, nor hear, nor see the way the dogs can. He is the cripple of the family, but like a normal household, that does not stop the pack from loving him and protecting him.
I am so glad I pushed myself to go further. I'll even admit to those reading this, I cried. Yes I did. I couldn't help myself, it pulled at my heart strings and yes I am a dog person. Eva Honrung wrote this book beautifully. I applaud the voice of the character, and the honesty of life she has portrayed in her novel.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't the story of a perfect life. It's a child growing up on the harsh streets of Moscow.
When I was given this book I believed it would be a more clinical look at the life of a feral child. It's not. This is a story of the ties that bind, in the life of Romochka. It's hard to accept the view point because it's not usual. But this book shows us the value of family, even when it's not typical. Read the book and you'll understand what I mean.
Something I believe: when a book can pull at your emotions, and attach you to the characters, even if it's a little twisted, if it makes you feel, and fall into their world, then that, my friends, is a good book.