Leah Greenblatt
March 21, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Dog

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Michelle Herman
publisher
MacAdam/Cage
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

Inside its misleadingly adorable cover, Herman’s spare novella is a haiku of loneliness and human redemption. Jill Rosen is a 40ish poetry professor in a small Midwestern town whose only pleasures come from a good book, a midpriced bottle of wine, and the occasional pair of Italian leather shoes. Rosen’s spontaneous adoption of a soulful mutt surprises even her, and while the puppy does bring changes to her life, it doesn’t lead to the sort of dramatic revelations one would expect. Instead, Herman deftly peels back the layers of Rosen’s ingrained self-defenses to reach her once-joyful core.

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