Monday, January 26, 2009

(9) The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst

Have you read The Dogs of Babel? You need to. It has been a while since I have read a book that really put my emotions through the wringer. From sadness, to anger, to relief. But at the end, I was glad to that I had read the book.

Linguistics professor, Paul Iverson, has met & fallen in love with his complete opposite, artist, Lexy. They marry & he moves in with Lexy & her dog, Lorelei. Their life is moving right along until the night he comes home to find the police. They tell him that, apparently, Lexy fell out of their apple tree in the backyard. The only witness was Lorelei.

Paul's grief is so palpable that you can feel it through the pages. He can not understand how or why Lexy came to be in the apple tree. The coroner said that the injuries were not congruent with a jump. So what happened? Through some research Paul has discovered a small society that believes they can teach dogs to talk.

Paul takes a sabbatical from his teaching and sets out to solve the mystery of what happened to his beloved wife. This is where I get angry. When Paul connects with the horrible group of people that believe with mutilation, dogs can talk, well I was so angry, I threw the book at the wall. Ever since my dog, Mr Bailey, came into my life, I have found that I am so much more sensitive to dog related stories. Mr Bailey is the love of my life & I would NEVER endanger him as Paul endangered Lorelei. But the remorse he felt for involving her with that group, well I forgave him.

The Dogs of Babel is a book about grief. And the grief fueled things that drive us to survive after losing a loved one. But just to be clear, I am not just talking of Paul's grief, I am also talking of Lorelei's grief. Through out the book, Paul tells us the story of his marriage. And with each "flashback" chapter we get to learn a little more about Lexy. And slowly the mystery comes together & Paul finally gets the answers he was so desperate for.


Ladytink_534 said...

I read this a couple of years before I started blogging and it made me cry!!! Poor Lorelei :(

Lisa Mandina said...

I read this book a few years ago. I think I remember that it was okay, but wasn't as excited as everyone else was.

Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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