This book got off to a bit of a slow start for me but by the time I reached the end, it was very good.
The main character is Barley, a dog trying to survive near Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. He's mistreated and nearly drowned but finds a home with a woodcarver. When Barley loses that master, he travels dangerous roads until he meets a robber. The two have exciting experiences in Jerusalem. Barley's life takes another twist as he sees the greatest event in all of history.
This novel is one about the time of Christ from a very different viewpoint. A very familiar story was portrayed in a way that is new and interesting. Readers are given a view of the society of the day, including how many felt toward stray dogs. It was a violent time and people mistreated animals and humans, so be prepared.
For this reader, the violence was a little hard to take. Some of the actions toward Barley brought up memories from my childhood and the various techniques used on the farm to be rid of unwanted puppies. For most readers, this may not be an issue.
I recommend this novel to those who would like to read of the time of Jesus from a new viewpoint. Be prepared for the portrayal of the violence of that time. Also be prepared for a very touching conclusion to the novel. You just may have to have some tissues nearby.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. You can read other reviews here.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Ron Marasco (Ph.D. UCLA) is a professor in the College of Communications and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He has written two nonfiction books and the screenplay for the movie Illusion, in which he also appeared. He also played the role of Judge Grove on Major Crimes.
Thomas Nelson, 272 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this novel through Litfuse. My comments are an independent and honest review.