It was not that long before Christmas that I saw a book with a
big eyed dog on the cover. I've got a soft spot in my heart for just
about all the big eyed creatures of the world. So I added Phyllis
Reynold Naylor's Shiloh's Christmas to my already considerable
borrowing stack. I was mighty glad that I did.
It turns out this is the final volume in a 4 book series. Logic
would dictate that I wait on this book until I'd read and reviewed the
other three. In matters like this, though, logic and I have no more
than a passing acquaintance. And it is Christmas Eve.
Shiloh is the canine companion of narrator Marty, a young man
who lives with his parents and two sisters in what seems to be the
rural south and wants to be a vetinarian when he grows up. He
volunteers at an animal clinic and likes everything about working with
critters except helping to put one to sleep.
People are a lot more puzzling.
First there's Marty's former nemesis, Judd, who had abused
Shiloh when he was her owner. He has been working mightily to clean
up his act and fit in better with the community. But some people are
unwilling to give him a chance. When a drought fueled fire destroys a
bunch of houses including his trailor people are quick to accuse him
of setting it--even after evidence totally exonerates him.
Then there's the new hellfire and brimstone preacher who knows
everything about sin, seemingly nothing about forgiveness. Marty's
sister, Dara Lynn begins telling stories about bizarre punishments the
minister gives out to his daughters. Do they constitute abuse? Would
reporting be the right thing to do or just cause trouble?
I would highly recommend this fine book. I promise to read and
review the three others in the series when I can get my hands on them.
On a personal note, I did my Christmas shopping yesterday. I didn't
know if I'd have money for it until I saw how much Joey's check up
would cost. Now I am enjoying Christmas Eve. Katie has come home
from Portland. She is visiting her sister and a friend. Then she and
I will watch a Christmas movie before bed. Yowza!
A great big shout out goes out to all my readers with wishes for a
very Merry Christmas.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod