A DOG NAMED NO: a saga of healing and self-discovery.

Posted: March 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

I’m a huge dog lover. I find dogs to be the most noble and the kindest of all creatures that Man has been blessed to call companions throughout the ages.  I have a special sort of affection for German Shepherds, my first pet having been one.

Native-American spirituality is the one that I find the most fascinating, second to Christianity, of course. I love how connected Native-American people are to nature and how everything in their life revolves around it.

When I found the novel that I am about to review, I was instantly hooked based on the description of the plot alone.  Why, you might ask?

Well, it’s because the book features both a German Shepherd as a protagonist, and a wealth of Native-American lore.

Set in the beautiful-looking Superstition Mountains(yes, that is their actual name) in Arizona, the book, called A DOG NAMED NO, and written by Ms. Bonnie Pike, to whom I’m wholeheartedly grateful for the book and signed bookplates,  tells  the story of Elizabeth Reed, a lonely, broken woman who enjoys hiking and is an avid dog lover. While exploring the aforementioned Superstition Mountains(of which there’s a wealth of black-and-white photos generously spread throughout the book), with her rambunctious German Shepherd Ranger(the reason for the title is super-hilarious, so read this book!), Elizabeth gets lost and seriously injured. She finds healing and answers to her life’s pressing questions via a “sipapu”, a sort of otherworldly portal in the Apache culture.  The book offers a great deal of information about the Apache, from their creation myths, to their rites of womanhood, which are  beautifully and intimately explored. I was awed by the complexity of their spirituality, and I found out, for example, that in Apache spirituality, black obsidian is considered a very powerful absorbent of negative energy, which it then converts to positive energy.  I was surprised to discover that the Apache have a villainous creature known as The Owl Man, given that the owl is commonly perceived as a symbol of wisdom. And most of all, I loved Ranger, to whom, as the book shows, there’s much more than meets the eye.

If you enjoy books that feature a great deal of landscape descriptions, you’ll love this one. The author has a heck of a way with words, masterfully combining their simplicity and power. There’s a poetic ring to everything that’s written there, and there’s even some blank verse, a testimony of Ms. Pike’s background as a poet.  Remember that thing that people say, “to everyone that has ever loved a dog”?

Well, that’s  very true in regard to this book as well. The love between Elizabeth and Ranger is almost palpable, one feels it pouring from the page. The same thing goes for the love between Elizabeth and her husband, Jon, as well as the longing for her dearly departed first husband, Hunter.

In fact, the book in and of itself, as a harmonious, beautiful whole, is all about love, at least in my opinion. A true labor of love for life, love for dogs, love for America, a gripping tale full of heart and timeless wisdom, this enchanting piece of fiction rings with truths as old as time itself. Five out of five for one of the most heartfelt tales I’ve read in a while. Looking forward to more!

The views expressed herein are my own and I’m honored to say so. Thank you, Ms. Pike! Great, great book.

  1. Bonnie M Pike says:

    My sincerest thanks for you for reading and reviewing the book. I am please that you were able to read it and get a glimpse in to the beautiful Supersition Mountains and the Stuperstition Mountain Wildneress where I was finally able to make my home.
    I hope, one day you will be able to visit and see her in all of her ever changing magical mystery.
    Until then, continue your love of reading and animals… remembering that the Native Americans believe that when we die the animal spirits will meet us on the bridge and decide if we may cross…
    You are one who will one day definitely cross.

    Enjoy every wonder-filled day that our creator blesses you with.

    Bonnie M Pike

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