I felt the dog wasn't really in it often enough to warrant that. What I got was a moving tale of exploration and love between a brother and sister, a story that moved me to tears, even though the dog was in it very little.
It's the 1950s and Donna has raised her younger brother Will. She's been forced to be a mother way too soon. She lives in a small town, a judgmental type of place, where nobody minds their business and the slightest thing out of the norm is scandalous and this gets her in trouble.
There's a grandmother who doesn't love her and is just so evil I wanted to jump in the book and murder her. There's an alcoholic father, a spineless boyfriend, an interesting art teacher, a kind lady who just happens to be on the wrong side of the tracks...and it's interesting to see just WHO ends up helping Donna and Will. This book is a good example of how it don't matter where you come from.
There's so much going on within these pages, I can't write a proper summary. Needless to say, Donna has had to take on way more responsibility than she should and it's hard to remember at times, she's just a high school kid. She doesn't make the smartest choices, but she grants her brother's wish. Stupid? Yep. Irresponsible? Yep. But I found myself rooting for her all the same.
And the stealer of the show...is a little boy, wise beyond his years, smart. He knows how to appreciate the simpler things in life. We could all learn from him. As I read the last chapter, I actually cried. It's not that often I read a book that can evoke so much emotion in me. And I think Donna is just so brave, a strong heroine, a woman who even though it's "silly" she does what she has to do for her brother. She gives him what he needs. And that's brave.
Beautiful story. Five bikes. I received an ARC of this via LibraryThing.