"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Dogs of Babel

TITLE: The Dogs of Babel
AUTHOR: Carolyn Parkhurst

The moving story about a professor of linguistics whose wife has died in a tragic accident, having fallen from a tree. The only witness was their dog, Lorelei, and Paul, convinced that Lorelei can tell him what happened that day, including why his wife, Lexy, was in that tree in their yard, becomes determined to teach Lorelei to talk.

The story is told in two time periods. In the past, is Paul and Lexy's love story; in the present, is Paul's struggles to find, then come to terms with his loss and the truths he has difficulty facing, including his irrational actions that put Lorelei at risk.

By the end, I wasn't surprised by the things Paul learns, about Lexy and himself and their relationship, but surprises aren't what this book is about. At its heart, it's the story of love and how it can blind you to a person's flaws and how some things are beyond your control and other things are within your control and learning the difference. It's about an amazing love that wasn't quite strong enough and about healing. Parkhurst's prose is compelling and deeply felt. I look forward to reading more by her.