A moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog.
WINNER OF THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD * A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD
'A true delight: I genuinely fear I won't read a better novel this year' FINANCIAL TIMES
'Loved this. A funny, moving examination of love, grief, and the uniqueness of dogs' GRAHAM NORTON
'Delicious' SUNDAY TIMES 100 BEST SUMMER READS
When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building.
Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog's care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unravelling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.
'Very, very clever. Mature. Entertaining. Eminently readable and re-readable. Absolutely delightful' IRISH TIMES
'I loved it . . . It's one of my favourite books and it moved me' WHOOPI GOLDBERG
A New York Times Notable Book of 2018 * A Financial Times 2018 Best Book: Critics Pick * A Buzzfeed Best Book of 2018 * A Bustle Best Fiction Book of 2018 * An NPR Best Book of 2018
In the riveting new novel from Nunez (Salvation City), the unnamed narrator thinks in the second person, addressing an unnamed old friend, a man, who has recently and unexpectedly committed suicide. The two first met decades earlier, while she was his student, the same semester in fact, when a fellow student became "Wife One" of three. While wives and lovers have come and gone, the narrator has remained a constant, friendly intimate of the deceased, a platonic yet intense and complex relationship. Mourning, she begins writing a cathartic elegy that becomes a larger meditation on writing, loss, and various forms of love. Early in the book, Wife Three calls to ask if the narrator will take responsibility for a large Great Dane named Apollo, whom the man had found abandoned in Central Park. Despite the unexpectedness of the request, the narrator takes the dog home, and over the course of the rest of the novel, her love for Apollo both consumes and heals her. This elegant novel explores both rich memories and day-to-day mundanity, reflecting the way that, especially in grief, the past is often more vibrant than the present.