And then you read a review that makes you really happy.
I've had some very nice early reviews in the British press, and more to come I hope (the lovely sort, that is). But sometimes you just come across a reader who makes you want to fly over to Canada and deliver a great huge kiss. Not only because what she's said is lovely, but because she's noticed lots of the subtle strange things you really really wanted your readers to notice.
Yes, Rhiannon, I'm talking about you.
Written in a quirky manner where view points often change mid-sentence, humans are mixed in with godly others, and all the things you might have assumed about religion and the way earth works is up for grabs, makes this a novel that won't appeal to everybody. I've already caught whiff of a couple of non-plussed reviews. However I loved it.
There is No Dog is cheeky, the characters are lovable and intriguing and I was dying to know how things were going to end. My especial favourite was Bob's pet Eck, last of his kind an "odd penguiny sort of creature with the long elegant nose of an anteater, beady eyes and soft grey fur," whose thoughts and opinions on things can't be deciphered by the other characters but which crop up for the reader periodically. He is gambled away by Bob's mother Mona, early on in the story, and spends most of the book despondent over how he's to be eaten in two weeks, while being overlooked due to Bob's girl troubles. By the end of the book I was seriously wishing I could add an Eck to my feline collection.
My favourite subtext, which I truly hope was the general paranormal YA jab I took it for was Bob's thoughts in a scene with his lady lust, after she puts the brakes on a kissing session:
Of course he might have concluded the issue in a variety of non-legitimate ways, disappearing and reappearing in Lucy's bedroom, making a slight alteration in the arrangement of time and space. But even Bob had the wit to recognize that no matter how it's framed, rape is still rape- which besides falling morally short of suitable (as Mr B had explained to him, time and again) took most of the pleasure out of the conquest. Besides, he loved her. And he wasn't totally devoid of self-control. He could wait until next time.
I am sad there isn't more of this lovely, strange, little book now that I'm done.
Dear sweet lovely blogger. Thank you for not being bemused by my book. This Eck is for you.