Published by Endicott & Hugh Books on July 23, 2015
I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours.
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Dr. Albert Paugh is begrudgingly retired, heading for divorce, and has no idea what to do with the remaining years of his life. After selling his veterinary practice and caring for his wife of 24 years through her cancer treatments, she recovers and tells Al that she wants a divorce; their marriage lacked passion and was too polite. For Al, the news is unexpected, but being the mild-tempered man that he is, he accepts her decision and sets off to figure out what to do with his days now that he’s lost his practice, his wife, and subsequently his house.
If you think The Reinvention of Albert Paugh by Jean Davies Okimoto sounds depressing, you’d be right in thinking so, only you’d be wrong. Sure, the premise is sad, but the story itself is uplifting and follows Al and his chocolate lab, Bert, as he bumbles through the days trying to make sense of his past, his marriage, and his future. He rents a small cottage on a nearby beach and ingratiates himself with the neighbors, finding solace and inspiration in some of the most unexpected people. The more he gets to know them (and one woman in particular), he realizes that perhaps his wife was right in that he was dispassionate, but then again he was a veterinarian who married a woman who didn’t like dogs, so perhaps the signs were there all along. Luckily, his new lease on life brings some wonderful people and experiences into his life and he realizes that perhaps retirement doesn’t have to be all that miserable.If you love #dogs and hopeful stories, you need to read Reinvention of Albert Paugh! Click To Tweet
I enjoyed this book for several reasons. First, I’m a dog lover and am the guardian of two rescues (there’s a great line in the book about people being guardians, not owners) and dogs play a very important role in this book. Not only are they their own characters, they are the driving force behind the story in more ways than one. Second, it’s comforting. Yes, it’s a bit sad because anyone with grandparents will draw parallels to their own lives, but the book doesn’t dwell on the negatives. Instead, it’s more realistic in its portrayals of its characters, their thoughts and awkward conversations, and what they are going through. Lastly, it’s a book that will make you feel something (especially if you’re a dog lover). I have to admit, I teared up in a few places, but then again I adore the elderly and dogs, so this book was the perfect combination for me. The Reinvention of Albert Paugh is a book that will make you feel emotions, but not get overly emotional.
Overall, this is a great book to read while sitting on the back patio with a glass of wine while watching your dogs play. There were times when everyday things were described in a little too much detail (such as food, but I imagine foodies would love that) or sentences were repeated, but because I read an advanced copy, I can’t say for sure they’ll make it to the final version of the book. Even if they do, they were far and few between and in no way detracted from the story itself.
Recommended for: Dog lovers, anyone going through a major life change, or people who like books that blend hope with sadness.
This review is part of TLC Book Tours. Please click the photo for more reviews.