I'm not sure there are words in my vocabulary that can adequately provide justice to this book. It is simply one of the best books I have read in a very long time - a contemporary classic. I will be haunted by it for weeks to come. In short (haha, I'm not good at short) it is about a mute boy (Edgar Sawtelle) and his family that raise a fictitious breed of dogs in America's heartland. The dogs are a brainchild of Grandpa Sawtelle, who bred the dogs to be highly intelligent, able to communicate with humans and to make intuitive decisions. It is hard to offer a synopsis without spoilers, but I will try, because it is such an incredible journey to make your way through this book without knowing what will happen (don't read the inner sleeve of the book if you can help it). Edgar's family is irreversibly changed by the appearance of his long-lost uncle Claude. Because of two back-to-back life-altering events, Edgar takes three of the Sawtelle dogs and embarks on a cross-country journey (both physically and in his heart). He returns home after several months to find that everything has changed.
Love, unbreakable bonds, tragedy, loss, hope, deception, and a little supernatural thrown in for fun...this book is all of these things. And for those of you that at one point in your life have experienced the unfailing love and loyalty of a dog, you will be blown away. The author so clearly gets it. I consider myself to be mildly sentimental, but books do not get to me all that easily, and I can always sense when the author is attempting to manipulate my emotions. This one got to me...I cried, and towards the end, started reading slower and slower because I really didn't want it to end.