Dogs, a mute boy, and family

WARNING! There may be spoilers ahead!!! I’ll try not to give too much away though.

I finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle a few weeks ago. It’s taken me this long to decide what I think about it, really. The ending left me so angry and frustrated that I was afraid it would color my overall opinion of the book too much.

The basic story is about a mute boy growing up in Wisconsin with his mother and father who breed a special kind of dog, known as the Sawtelle dog. There is a family tragedy which sets the stage for much of the second half of the book.

I enjoyed huge amounts of this book. The story of the bond between Edgar and Almondine is fascinating — as are many other parts of the novel. I found his mother to be extremely frustrating, and Edgar’s character slightly underdeveloped. It was difficult sometimes to understand his motivations. And I wondered for a long time how old he was, although I eventually found out.

The shifting viewpoints (Edgar’s, Almondine’s, Trudy’s) were interesting, although I would have liked to see more from Trudy’s point of view.

Overall, I really wanted this book to be better. The potential was huge and underdeveloped. I enjoyed what was there (apart from the infuriating ending), but wanted it to be more.

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