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Book Review: The Dog Who Danced

The pain of loss can be overwhelming and there are many ways to cope with your grief and learn to heal. What better than inviting a dog into your lives! The Dog Who Danced by Susan Wilson is one such story.

Book Review of The Dog Who Danced

I love books where a dog is the main character or protagonist. However, being a mom to a doggo, it tugs at my heartstrings whenever I read books centered around these four-legged furballs. I have read books like ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ and bawled my eyes out. I get emotionally involved with the story especially when the story is narrated from the dog’s perspective. And nothing of that sort happened while reading this book.


Justine Meade is on her way to visit her dying father. Her dog Mack, a Sheltie is with her and she manages to find a shotgun seat. Due to her stupid decisions, Mack is dognapped (kind of!) by the trucker and abandoned at a roadside. Needless to say, Justine is heartbroken because Mack has been an integral part of her life, even her dance partner.

Justine isn’t new to loss. She lost her mother at a young age, her father married their neighbor and life was nothing short of a Cinderella story with her stepmom and stepbrother. Except, there wasn’t any Prince Charming to rescue this damsel in distress. Adelle, her stepmother, made sure that Justine wasn’t loved by her father anymore. Justine left home at the young age of seventeen, got married and had a son. But life wasn’t rosy even then. She left her husband, took her son, moved cities and changed jobs frequently only to have an estranged relationship with her son. And now, Adelle expects her to be by her dying father’s bedside.

While she struggles between her bitter feelings with her family, an old couple, Ed and Alice picks up the dog. They’ve suffered a terrible loss in their lives and it takes a while to know exactly what happened. However, Mack instantly wins their hearts.

Will Justine be able to find her dog?

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First of all, I thought Justine was stupid in leaving her dog in a truck where the driver wasn’t ready to wait for five minutes for her. While he was intent on meeting his deadline and making it to his destination, she not only dawdles for five minutes but decides to take a shower for about 10 to 15 minutes before showing up. Being a dog mother, I cannot imagine ever doing that! She was reckless and irresponsible, to say the least.

I didn’t quite understand Justine and the many internal conflicts she had. That said, I didn’t like any characters of the story and could barely get through some parts of the book, except maybe, those portions where the story was portrayed from Mack’s perspective. There were too many moments in the story where I was pulling my hair apart in frustration.

To conclude, The Dog who Danced had great potential with respect to the storyline but was terribly executed!

Book Review Rating

3 Paws on 5!

That’s all for now!

Which are some of the books with a dog as a protagonist that you’ve read? Don’t forget to share!

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Book Review of The Dog Who Danced by Susan Wilson

Read for #ReadingWithMuffy 2020 Monthly Reading Challenge | Prompt for January: A Book with a Dog on its cover/title/Dog as a protagonist

Want to participate in the reading challenge? The signup is open till the 10th of January. Check the linked post for details.


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