Rating: 5 stars
Fans of both the movie and book “Must Love Dogs” by Claire Cook will be thrilled to be updated on Sarah and John and their on-again-off-again romance. “Must Love Dogs: Fetch You Later (Book 3),” features the now-ubiquitous dog on the cover, and Horatio — the dog who hated Sarah in the last book — is a prominent character in the story (in a passive sort of way).
This third book in the “Must Love Dogs” series incorporates Cook’s brilliant sense of humor throughout — in the superb dialogue, in certain plot twists, and even in some of the locations of the story. John decides, and Sarah acquiesces, to go on vacation to a doggy camp. Is Sarah enough of a dog-lover to make that work? Can there be romance amidst doggy training and doggy sing-alongs? Who will show up to make that a less-than-stellar experience?
Cook’s imagination and creativity give readers a chance to learn even more about the characters they’ve come to love from the first two books. She ably, adroitly, and entertainingly further develops their characters, providing her trademark humor and wit along the way. It’s always comfortable to read about that which you know, and readers will feel at home with the characters they know as well as some very interesting new ones.
Sarah’s father is one of the wonderful characters (in the sense of “what a character!”) in the story. He’s funny — both when he means to be and when he doesn’t. He gets himself into situations from which his daughters must extricate him, leading to some really clever — and heartwarming — scenes. And some of the characters, both old and new, turn out to be surprisingly different from what we expect. They are deliciously human, imperfections notwithstanding.
The love and affection between Sarah and her family is, as usual, very apparent, as are the typical family squabbles. They are a close-knit group, but just like every family, they ride the emotional roller coaster of personal relationships.
It’s all great fun, and Cook’s subtle plot twists lead to a very happy and rather surprisingly satisfying ending. Also, Cook includes many tips and creative ideas for preschool/primary teachers. It’s obvious that when she left teaching to write full time, the world lost a caring and thoughtful teacher.
Here’s hoping for a movie that encompasses books #2 (“Must Love Dogs: New Leash on Life) and #3!
Please note: This review is based on the advance review copy provided by the author.