BOOK REVIEWS: A Dog’s Promise by W Bruce Cameron
BOOK REVIEWS: A Dog’s Promise by W Bruce Cameron
A Dog's Purpose by W Bruce Cameron

BOOK REVIEWS: A Dog's Promise by W Bruce Cameron

"My name is Bailey. I have had many names and many lives, but Bailey is what I am called now. It is a good name. I am a good dog."

Bailey has been here before, and it seems that a dog's work is never done. Now Bailey has a new mission. His human friend, Ethan, has told him he must go back to do something essential. And, just like that, Bailey is a puppy again. After a somewhat rough start, he lands in a shelter where he meets his canine soul mate, a Boxer called Lacey. But the dogs are adopted by different families.

Bailey is renamed Cooper and goes to live with Chase Dad and his two sons on a farm. He loves living on the farm; he misses Lacey. Dog soul mates have a way of finding each other. An extraordinary sense of smell and hearing gives them advantages we don't have, and distance can't keep soul mates apart. They find each other time and time again. And maybe, just maybe, they are destined to connect their humans, too.

Chase Dad's sons have a somewhat rocky relationship, made worse by Wenling, a lovely young woman. More troubling, Chase Dad has formed a business grudge against Wenling's father. But Wenling ends up at the farm often because Lacey, her dog, keeps running off to meet Cooper. Lacey and Cooper make every effort to show their people how to live happily. Still, inexplicably humans tend to make their days very complicated. They overlook all of the wonders the world holds for them, finding the paths to unhappiness instead. Why won't they enjoy the pleasures offered to them? It takes more than one reincarnation for Bailey/Cooper to make his family realize where real value resides. But his mission is clear.

A DOG'S PROMISE may look like an ordinary book, but it is far from it. Between its covers is a delightful story of incredible insight, happiness, anguish, love, and, yes, even sadness. But the sadness is accompanied by a fantastic promise of better things to come. The story is narrated by Bailey in all of his incarnations. Cameron's novel takes us inside this good dog's head, letting us sense how our pets might perceive us and their surroundings. Bailey has a sweet, straightforward approach to life, an uncomplicated attitude that he wants to impart to all of us. He savors small pleasures and experiences great joy and deep sadness. And takes it all in stride. Even in pain, he knows how to handle what the future holds for him. He doesn't understand why people don't focus on him when he's there because, after all, there's a dog in the room! Dogs are there to make us happy.

You can't read A DOG'S PROMISE and come away without viewing your own dog a little differently. And loving him just a bit more. The whole world needs to read this book, if for no other reason than to just feel the pleasure of a rapidly wagging tail aimed its way. And a big sloppy kiss on its cheek. We all can learn a lot from Bailey.

Perfect for devoted fans and new readers alike. If you haven't had a chance to discover W Bruce Cameron, now is an ideal time. 

W. BRUCE CAMERON is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Dog's Purpose, A Dog's Way Home, and A Dog's Journey (all now major motion pictures), The Dog Master, A Dog's Promise, the Puppy Tales for young readers (starting with Ellie's Story and Bailey's Story), The Dogs of Christmas, The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man, and others. He lives in California.


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