She does more than think this, though. Stella talks. Yes, a talking dog. You'd think this would make for a stupid book, but somehow, it works.
Paul is a writer for the Morons books - a fictional version of "for Dummies" or "Complete Idiot's" guide series. He's painted himself into a corner: he doesn't make much money, doesn't seem thrilled with his job. He's divorced, and his favorite bar is a dive where the locals hang out to get drunk together. He's dating a woman who splits her time between him and another boyfriend. Then his dad has a stroke. He's a sad sack, and his one constant respite is Stella the talking dog.
It's not like Stella talks to other people. She only talks to Paul. This isn't such a huge stretch. I talk to my dog, Emily, all the time. She doesn't talk back, of course, but I sometimes ask her questions that are too big to keep lodged in my head, and, yes, I wonder what she would say if she could talk. No person is in my presence as much as my dog. I'm sure she'd have some observations if she had Stella-like abilities.
I Thought You Were Dead is a sweet, sad story. I read most of it yesterday while recovering from a race. Since I had to work in the area the next day (today), I stayed at a hotel and my mom watched the dog. But I found myself reaching out to pet Emily while reading the book. I wonder what she'd say about that.
I'm feeling a bit like a sad sack myself, so this book came along at the right time. I'm reading a lot more fiction lately, too. Maybe it's because I'm on bad news overload and worry about the economy, the environment, whether or not I can keep things going in this writing career. I've had the same must-read non-fiction book on my to-read list for a month, but I can't bring myself to it. Fiction as a respite? Maybe. I'll ask Emily what she thinks.
P.S. A note about the marketing: The press release tucked inside the book made a big deal about how much indie booksellers loved the book. It's why I tucked it into my suitcase this weekend. Whoever came it with that strategy - IT WORKED.