An old woman who has given up hope and a boy who believes the impossible wonder if life would be perfect at the Westminster Dog Show.
Seventy-year old Bess Rutledge has dreamed of winning the Westminster Dog Show all her life. Despite her decades-long career as one of America’s top Standard Poodle breeders, she has decided she’s too old to hold on to her foolish dream. She sells off all the dogs in her once famous kennel except for the aging champion McCreery and his mischievous, handsome son Breaker. Part of her senses they might have been the ones to take her to Westminster, if only she’d dared to try.
Bess meets Benny, a teenager with mild autism who attends a therapeutic special school, and learns he has a dream of his own: to impress his self-absorbed mother. Benny is drawn into the world of dog shows and becomes convinced he has found the perfect way to win his mother’s attention. If he can win Westminster with either McCreery or Breaker, he just knows she will finally be proud of him. Getting Bess to go along with his plan, however, is not going to be so easy. . .
Paperback, 340 pages
Published January 29th 2014 by Beltor
I received a copy of this book directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.
This was a truly touching story. Take an autistic boy, an elderly woman who has unfinished dreams and add in some dogs the result is a story about learning about yourself and your capabilities. How Benny and Bess helped each other to change their current reality was magnificent.
The fact that this story centralizes around dogs touched upon a weakness of mine. Although I am of the same opinion as Benny in the story and I don't consider poodles "real dogs" and would take my golden retriever any day, I do know about a humans love for a dog and vice versa. This story captures that and McCreery's actions towards the end of the story was heartwarming. I do also believe that dogs have the ability to heal and shed perspective on things all without being able to speak. I loved this aspect of the story.
Ultimately this was a story about loss and loneliness and overcoming these by finding your own passions. Its a story about going for your dream or just discovering what your dream is. This was an easy read with an uplifting topic and will be sure to please most audiences. It is clear that Manning has done some research on show dogs and has a passion for dogs herself. I am glad I had the opportunity to discover this book.
About the Author