Saturday, January 24, 2009
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle :: David Wroblewski
I finished reading this today. When I closed the book I laid back on my bed and just thought of Edgar Sawtelle. Edgar, the 14-year-old main character in the story - a unique, tragic hero. Lost in thought I flipped the book over to look at the back cover - strangely realizing I hadn't even noticed before. Here is what I read:
"I flat-out love The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. I closed this book with the regret readers feel only after experiencing the best stories: It's over, you think and I won't read another one this good for a long, long time"....Stephen King
Woa, I felt like looking over my shoulder - did Stephen King siphon that right off of my brain? It is exactly how I was feeling. Terrible remorse that my adventure with Edgar was over. I will miss my young friend. More than once I felt like ruffling Edgar's hair or giving him the honest maternal squeeze he needed to get through his next obstacle.
Another goodie for me - the scenes in this book. This author does a tremendous job of helping me conjure visual images through his rich words. My senses were truly tickled throughout this book. I may need to go back and review some portions of the book to really tie everything together - it was expertly woven in my lay-man's opinion.
The story starts with a couple. A young couple who run a dog kennel - not an ordinary kennel - these people eat, sleep and breathe canine. They train the dogs so thoroughly that it leaves the reader wondering if the dogs are thinking. And some chapters are indeed told from a dog's perspective - she is Almondine (isn't that a charming name for a loyal friend?). The couple desperately wants a child. Finally they are blessed with Edgar - healthy and normal in every way except that he cannot speak. The story follows his relationship with Almondine, his gifts with the dogs - and tragedy. I don't want to hint at anything further - but my heart broke for Edgar. Yet he impressed me with his strength, patience and intelligence. I would be proud to have a son like Edgar.
Lastly, I must admit I have been looking at my own dog with new eyes as I have been reading. I think the strong bonds in the book have made my hand drop off the side of the couch more than once to let Rugby know hey pal, you're pretty special to me. Sounds corny, but really - he has gotten more way treats and conversation - thanks to Edgar.
**Oprah is having a webcast featuring the author Monday night. You have to go to her site to RSVP - this book might be worth the extra efforts. promise.
**ETA: I just listened to Oprah's live webcast with the author of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski - listening absolutely added to the richness of this moving book for me. It made even deeper sense of things for me. Just an FYI, the webcast will be available on Oprah.com tomorrow and the podcast on ITunes.:)