Candid, Anecdotal Recollection

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Every dog lover has had dogs that have deeply impacted their lives. That is the theme Jennifer Finney Boylan sets out to explore in Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs. A play on the expression “good boy”, Boylan’s memoir is about her journey from boyhood to womanhood, framed by the lives of the dogs that were a part of her life at the time. It is a candid, anecdotal recollection of her life up to this point.

I didn’t even make it through the first chapter before I was already both laughing and crying. That being said, given the subject matter, I expected it to be a far more sentimental tale. I anticipated reading this book in phases, overcome with emotion as each chapter ended in the demise of her canine companion. However, this was not the case. Instead of focusing on the inevitable loss of each dog, Boylan focuses on their lives, and on moments with each dog that shaped her life.

Whether or not you are a dog lover, I would recommend this book. It is a tale of friendship, love, and self-acceptance. It’s a beautiful, candid portrait of one woman’s life, and the moments that have shaped it.