That's not exactly why I picked up David Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, but I can just imagine Oprah holding up this thick book on her TV set and sincerely bearing testimony that it will hold you in its grip clear up to the last harrowing page.
Actually, I have no idea how harrowing things will get, but from the halfway point where I now sit, the antagonist is somebody I sure wouldn't want next door to me in one of those hotel rooms with the shared door.
Edgar is born to a family of dog breeders. He has no voice. When one of the dogs notices baby Edgar crying in hunger and no sound coming out, she knows she has found her Important Job. Wake up momma and get her to feed him. Go everywhere with Edgar and watch out for him.
So I'm reading along, getting all heart-warmed by a dog, and wondering what's happening to me. Why, just weeks ago, I said nice things about the two doggies at my daughter's house--"They are kind of gentle. Oh, you sweet pooch," pat, pat. You don't know how it disturbs me to admit these things, but OK, there's something sweet about an animal companion that waits for you to come home, that follows you around as if your business is her business, that knows what you want for your birthday . . . Oh, wait, that's probably a bit much to ask.
If I were you, I wouldn't lay down money that I'm about to bat for the other team. And besides, my cats do wait for me at the door and they do follow me around. So I feel loved.
It's just that I get, if only a little bit, why all those people who choose an animal that has to be walked (rain, snow or ice) and that chews their boots and that slobbers on them . . . Ok, I get why they might feel all nutty with love for these creatures.
Anyway, back to Edgar. His uncle appears on the dog farm. The man is impulsive. Or maybe he's dangerous. Or maybe he's changed and isn't all that anymore, but the uncle and Edgar's dad sure do have a lot of arguments. And Edgar's dog isn't much help on the day he has to call the early '70s version of 911.
So here I am, halfway through the book, where things are just crackling with danger. The house could use a good vacuuming and it's not gonna happen until I see Edgar through his troubles.
However, I do manage to feed people around here. After laying about for a week, I re-entered the kitchen and produced:
Microwave Pizza Dip