Lost & Found (Rocky Pelligrino #1) by Jacqueline Sheehan
2007 William Morrow
Finished on September 5, 2015
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)
A poignant and unforgettable tale of love, loss, and moving on . . . with the help of one not-so-little dog
Rocky's husband Bob was just forty-two when she discovered him lying cold and lifeless on the bathroom floor . . . and Rocky's world changed forever. Quitting her job, chopping off all her hair, she leaves Massachusetts—reinventing her past and taking a job as Animal Control Warden on Peak's Island, a tiny speck off the coast of Maine and a million miles away from everything she's lost. She leaves her career as a psychologist behind, only to find friendship with a woman whose brain misfires in the most wonderful way and a young girl who is trying to disappear. Rocky, a quirky and fallible character, discovers the healing process to be agonizingly slow.
But then she meets Lloyd.
A large black Labrador retriever, Lloyd enters Rocky's world with a primitive arrow sticking out of his shoulder. And so begins a remarkable friendship between a wounded woman and a wounded, lovable beast. As the unraveling mystery of Lloyd's accident and missing owner leads Rocky to an archery instructor who draws her in even as she finds every reason to mistrust him, she discovers the life-altering revelation that grief can be transformed . . . and joy does exist in unexpected places.
I'm not ashamed to admit that cover art plays a fairly large part in my decision-making process when choosing a new book to read. Unless it's one that has received glowing reviews, I generally ignore the ugly, generic covers that show only the title and author's name against a colorful background. Likewise, a sappy cover, even one with a cute puppy, rarely gets more than a passing glance. So how in the world did Lost & Found wind up on one of my bookshelves? It all but screams "sentimental fluff," don't you think? But someone must have raved about this book and I'm glad I listened. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of the novel, coming to care about Rocky almost as much as I did Lloyd.
On being a dog:
But in this life, he is dog. His life is ocean, stick, ball, sand, grass, ride in the truck, sleep by the bed, look deep into the eyes of humans, lure them outdoors, greet them with a burst of joy when they come home, love them. Fill this brief life with more. And more.
Do you judge books by their covers? I wonder how many great books I've passed up simply because I didn't like the cover art. Conversely, I know I've been disappointed on more than one occasion when I've chosen a book for its gorgeous cover. I've become quite a sucker for books about dogs, and in spite of the cutesy cover, this one didn't disappoint. While not the same caliber as The Art of Racing in the Rain or The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Lost & Found is a step above brain candy and I quickly devoured it in just a few short days. There were a few loose ends, but overall, it was very enjoyable. I look forward to reading more by Sheehan. Recommend!