Not My Dog

Fiction - Literary
248 Pages
Reviewed on 03/13/2020
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Author Biography

I have lived much of my life around prairie towns like the one portrayed in this novel. This is where my roots are, though I have also lived in large cities and have traveled extensively internationally. "Not My Dog" was written in the months that followed a recent move away from the prairies. The story is not autobiographical, but my experiences on the vast western Canadian plains served me well in telling this story. I graduated college with degrees in English and Law, and have been writing full-time since my retirement.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In Not My Dog by Gregg Norman, Del Grainger is searching for a place to belong. His disturbing dreams and the death of his friend have had a profound effect on his outlook on life. Del and his partner Ivy have moved to a small rural town in the hope they can save their dwindling relationship. As Ivy tries to involve herself in the local community, Del struggles to settle. He seems to prefer the company of a feral dog with whom he shares his deepest and darkest secrets. Del soon discovers that he is not the only one with problems, as each resident battles with their own personal and professional issues. As everyone tries to search for the pot of gold called happiness and fulfillment, a previous owner of the farm hides in the shadows with a grudge to settle.

I have been totally absorbed by the characters in this superbly written novel. The author has an amazing ability to bring each of the thoughtfully crafted characters to life. Their personalities and view of the world shine through completely with the excellently written dialogue. If you have ever lived in a small town, you will totally relate to the events and relationship dynamics in Not My Dog. I loved the conversations Del had with the dog, they were humorous at times and also very revealing of Del's thought processes. Although the plot moved along very nicely, with Del trying to make sense of his life, the sub-plots were just as interesting. Gregg Norman has cleverly posed the following questions to each character: 'What is life about?' 'Is it OK to settle or better to look for some happiness and your true self?' Each character tries to find happiness and meaning in their lives and discovers some very interesting beliefs about themselves along the way.

Peter Prinsloo

The author's writing style is most commendable and often poetically beautiful.
The first few chapters of this book captured me and I couldn't wait to see what was coming. I was, however, disappointed that the early promise of a developing story building to a peak and finishing with a flourish didn't materialise. I also found the many characters and their own little stories a bit confusing and draining.