The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances - Ellen Cooney

I read Thanksgiving by Ellen Cooney, so I was happy to read a new book by her when I was given the chance. The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances is not a typical pick for me. Had I not heard of the author, I probably wouldn’t have chosen it. Now, after reading this and Nick Trout’s book Dog Gone, Back Soon, I am going to start looking like a real dog lover! Which is kind of funny, since I have never had a dog of my own. I have always been around them, and I know several people who rescue them, but this book was eye opening for me anyway.


Of course this is a novel, but there is so much that feels like the truth in this book. This is a book about rescue and recovery. For Evie and the dogs she is learning to train, this book is about second chances, earned and otherwise. I felt, at times, as if I was reading about the island of misfit toys come to life. There are so many characters in this story that Cooney takes the care to bring to life; I got the feeling that they were all important, since so many of them seemed to be created with love for their many imperfections.


I cannot even scratch the surface here on the wonders of this story. You can read the summary and it may intrigue you, but I swear it will not do this lovely gem of a book justice. I probably lack the eloquence to convince you, so I will rely on a blurb from Gail Godwin, another favorite author of mine:


“Is there such a thing as a Rescue Book? Well, there is now. This is a miracle of a book. It’s even a spiritual handbook. And it is for readers young and old and all of the in-between. Cooney is such a wise genius of a writer, and her sentences keep surprising you, but are never the point in themselves. I read with a kind of mental breathlessness.  If Cooney needs someone to convince her to write a sequel, I volunteer.”
—Gail Godwin


Really, do you need any more than that to want to pick up this book? Go buy it; you can thank me later.