Susan Wilson, the bestselling author of One Good Dog delivers another powerful novel of loyalty and love.
Single mom Skye Mitchell has sunk her last dime into a dream, owning the venerable, if run-down LakeView Hotel in the Berkshire Hills. It’s here where she believes she’ll give her fourteen-year-old daughter Cody a better life. But being an innkeeper is more challenging than she imagined, and Cody still manages to fall in with the wrong crowd. In addition, Cody is keeping an earth-shattering secret that she’s terrified to reveal. The once loving, open girl has now become completely withdrawn, and Skye is both desperate and helpless to reach her.
When Adam March and his pit bull Chance check into the hotel, it becomes the first of many visits. Here in these peaceful mountains he finds an unexpected relief from his recent bereavement. He and the beleaguered innkeeper form a tentative friendship. Adam knows the struggles of raising a difficult teenager and Skye understands loneliness.
And then there is Mingo, a street kid with a pit bull dog of his own. When Cody discovers an overdosed Mingo, Adam takes the boy’s dog not just for safekeeping, but to foster and then rehome. But the dog isn’t the only one who needs saving. A makeshift family begins to form as four lost people learn to trust and rely on each other, with the help of two good dogs.
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A slow paced novel!
Two Good Dogs is the newest book by Susan Wilson (author of One Good Dog). Skye Mitchell and her fourteen-year-old daughter, Cody have moved to the Berkshire Hills. Skye has purchased the LakeView Motel and is hoping this is a new start for the two of them. Cody’s personality has taken a three hundred and sixty degree turn since the death of her father, Randy six months earlier (not that he was every around much). She is no longer the happy sunny girl. Cody is rebellious, sullen, and keeps to herself. Calls from the high school principal have become a regular occurrence. Skye does not know what is wrong with Cody, and Cody refuses to talk to with her mother. The LakeView Motel is not quite what Skye expected. It needs many repairs, and Skye does not have the money to get them completed (income is low at this time). One night there is a heavy rainstorm and Adam March cannot continue on to his destination. He sees the sign for the LakeView Motel and pulls in. Skye is happy for a guest (the guest’s money), but Adam has a buddy with him that she does not want to allow in her motel. Adam travels with his dog, Chance. Chance is a pit bull rescue that is a certified therapy dog. Skye reluctantly allows Adam to stay for the night (and charges him an extra fee for the dog). Chance can tell that Cody has a lot of anger in her and needs comforting. It turns out that Cody has a secret that she cannot share. She is afraid and will not let anyone get close to her. Cody is interested in art and spends time at the local Artists Cooperative in North Adams. It turns out that Adam is in the area to do some work for the Artists Cooperative. Adam’s one night at the LakeView Motel turns into a regular occurrence (Adam is grieving the loss of his wife). Adam works to convince Skye to make changes to the motel (make it pet friendly), and they slowly get to know each other. These three people and Chance are on a journey. Another troubled soul will soon join them. The road will be bumpy and twisty, but, hopefully, they will all make it to the end.
Two Good Dogs is told from different point-of-views. It is told in the third person for Cody and Adam. In the first person for Skye and Chance. As the story plays out, it changes from one person to the next. I found this confusing. One minute we are hearing from Cody and then it changes. You have to read a little bit and then you finally figure out which person it has changed to. I wish the author had just told the story from a third person perspective (instead of each character). I found Chance’s sections to be a little too sophisticated for a dog (if they had been more humorous, it would have helped lighten this story). The dog cannot understand human speak, but he has very mature thoughts. I know my dog, Doozy has one main thought—food. His main concern is how to con more treats out of me (or find a way to steal them). The pace of the book is leisurely (a nice way to say slow) and the segments choppy. I give Two Good Dogs 2.5 out of 5 stars. I did not like Cody. She dominates the story (of course) with her teenage rebellious acts, because she will not share her secret. I felt the author shoved in as many awful teenage acts as she could into the store. It made the book very unpalatable. Two Good Dogs contains foul language, drugs, thieving and inappropriate situations (an art teacher with an underage, underdressed model). The ending was abrupt and the epilogue unsatisfactory. There was one odd sentence. Cody does not put on perfume that she does not own (stole or borrowed from a guest) because her mother “has a nose like a hound”. But Cody can smoke pot and her mother does not notice? This is an oxymoron. Two Good Dogs had very little mystery or suspense in it. I wish the author had played up this angle more and less on the teenage drama.