Title: A Dog's Purpose
Author: W. Bruce Cameron
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
W. Bruce Cameron’s ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ chronicles a dog's journey through several lives via reincarnation and how he looks for his purpose through each of his lives. The story is told from the canine’s perspective.
The protagonist is first born in a litter of four to a mother who lives in the wild away from humans. Their family is however captured. The dogs arrive at a place called the Yard, where dozens of abandoned dogs reside under the guidance of a gentle old woman whom the narrator calls Señora and who names the narrator “Toby.” Señora has made it her mission to care for strays. Unfortunately her facility is already overcrowded and may be closed down for good. With the arrival of Spike, an aggressive and vicious dog, things fall apart. Injured in a fight with Spike, Toby ends up in a pound where he is put down, but not before he’s begun to wonder what his purpose in life might be.
Toby is reborn as a golden retriever who becomes the beloved pet of a boy named Ethan after some misadventure. Ethan names him “Bailey” and the two hit it off instantly. Bailey becomes accustomed to Ethan's school routine and the summer tradition of going to the Farm, where Ethan's grandparents live. Over the course of many years, Bailey lives a full life with Ethan and sees him through every up and down including his injury, an eventual break up with his girlfriend Hannah, and a divorce between his parents. By now Bailey has realized that his purpose is to comfort Ethan. Years later, with Bailey’s health at a decline, he is put down again by a vet.
To Bailey’s surprise, he is reborn as “Ellie,” a female dog who becomes the star of a K-9 unit until her trainer is wounded. Her new trainer, Maya, takes a liking for her and the two become a team. When Maya marries, Ellie carries the ring down the aisle as ring-bearer. Eventually, Ellie dies once again sure that she has finally fulfilled her purpose.
However, Ellie is born again, as a male Labrador retriever and is first named “Wendi” and later “Bear” by two different owners. One day Bear finds himself roaming in a familiar territory from several lifetimes ago. He finds Ethan, now a lonely old man living on the family farm. Ethan takes him in and names him “Buddy,” who eventually reunites Ethan with his lost love Hannah.
“A Dog’s Purpose” is about the undying love and connection between man and his best friend. It also tries to explore, in a lighthearted and humorous manner, the concept of our individual purposes in life and why we are here. Dog lovers will lap up this appealing story right from its beguiling cover to the last page. Readers will probably need a tissue or two to get them through this emotional journey.
About the Author
W. Bruce Cameron is the New York Times bestselling author of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, The Dog Master, and the A Dog’s Purpose series. In 2011 he was named Columnist of the Year by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. He lives in California.
I'd like to thank the publisher for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!
* I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
** Picture courtesy: Amazon.in