Author: Ann Garvin
Publisher: Penguin Group
ISBN: 978-0-425-26925-1

I hit bottom after the accident, when I lost Richard and miscarried the baby. I’ve been clawing around in the muck ever since. No offense,” Lucy explains to Mark in Ann Garvin’s novel, The Dog Year.

At three hundred and thirty-six pages, this paperback targets those who enjoy the angst of complicated lives meshed with heartache, loneliness, and love of canines. With ample profanity and using the Lord’s name in vain along with adult situations, it would not be appropriate for young, naïve readers.

In this current day tome Doctor Luscious aka Lucy Peterman has been dealt a major blow in her life: her husband and unborn baby died due to a car accident eight months ago. Trying ardently to move on as a reconstructive surgeon, she puts all her energy into work. But Lucy has a secret to hide.

Being a kleptomaniac since her loved ones’ deaths, the doctor is caught stealing more medical supplies from the hospital and storing them in the bedroom she and her husband shared while she sleeps in the baby’s room that she feels will never be used.

Forced to go to therapy and AA meetings or jeopardize her job, she grudging attends, believing she may be a thief but her crime is not affecting her or others. At the same time, she meets Mark Troutman, a recovering alcoholic policeman with past baggage that she vaguely knew from high school.

With a supportive gay brother and his partner, Lucy prefers to have her prison be within her house as she lives in the past and dreams of becoming pregnant with her husband’s frozen sperm.

After rescuing and adopting a stray she names “Little Dog,” Lucy volunteers at the Human Society. Although she correlates her thievery to reminiscing about her past husband, she finds solace and comfort being around canines.

As she meets other individuals in the twelve-step meetings, she befriends a young anorexic and a woman with cancer. Building friendships for the first time in her life, Lucy realizes she is as complicated, heart-broken, and confused as everyone else.

Through the friends and dogs she meets, the witty but caustic woman slowly lets down her guard and trusts others. Rambling with both wit and criticism, the book describes one woman’s hopelessness to acceptance as she understands the fragility of life.

Thanks to Penguin Group for furnishing this book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.

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