I haven’t done a book reveiw for SO long, and I feel rather guilty, as I have three books languishing on my “NetGalley” shelf. Since going back to work I’ve had a lot less me time, and so a lot less reading time. I read a few pages ain bed and then drop off to sleep! I also have had a few problems with my Kindle – all solved now.
So, here is my latest review; I was sent this book free-of-charge (yay!), by NetGalley, in return for an honest review:
THE WAY BACK
by Bill Whiting
I had read “Rosie” by Bill Whiting, and enjoyed it – an easy read about how a dog helped one man find his way back from grief at the loss of his wife. Well, this book has very similar themes…
The NetGalley description reads: After losing his home and savings to his lying son, widower Robin Bentley has a breakdown and is consigned to a care home for the elderly. He’s deeply depressed and has lost himself. As his health improves, he feels imprisoned and decides he must escape.
While sneaking away, his path is blocked by a scary, battle-worn bull terrier, which is being hunted by the police. Very frightened, Robin distracts its attention with food from his rucksack, and then hurriedly makes the long walk to his planned hideaway at a seaside caravan park. But the fearsome beast follows him relentlessly…
He curses his luck, but in time, realises the dog is a fellow fugitive and takes pity on it. At great sacrifice, he takes care of it and grows to love his ugly companion.
An elderly Chinese widow, living with her cat in an adjacent caravan, is very alarmed by the arrival of her scary-looking new neighbours. Many trials and misfortunes follow, and the dark side of life battles with love and companionship, to shape their future.
It is a charming story, and I found that I wanted to read more of it than my usual couple of pages a night…I was taking my Kindle to work and snatching a few minutes reading time over lunch.
It isn’t great literature, but the author captures the characters of both Robin and Lanying well, and tells their stories in an undramatic yet affecting way. I cared about both of them and wanted a happy ending for them. Butch and Bo, the two animals, also had their own characters.
I would recommend this book as a “cosy” read by the fireside, with a cup of your favourite brew. It made me feel good!
Lanying would often come out with Chinese sayings (I don’t know if they are “real” Chinese proverbs, but they have a ring of reality about them. The one which completes the book sums up the themes and feeling of the story:
If you want to be happy for an hour, take a nap.
If you want to be happy for a day, go fishing.
If you want to be happy for a year, win a fortune.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime,care for someone.
An easy 4 star read.