The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst ~ Fiction Book Review

book18From the first page I really liked this book. It was different. The approach was fresh, the style good, and the subject matter grabbed my attention. I usually don’t reveal what happens in a book, but when it happens on the first page I consider it fair game.

The main character’s wife climbs up an apple tree, falls, and dies. The only witness was their dog. Being a professor of linguistics, the bereaved husband decides to take a leave of absence from his teaching position in order to teach the dog to talk, so that he can find out what really happened the day his wife died.

It seems outlandish because it is. At the same time, the characters are so well developed and the writing so clean that you don’t feel like you’re reading something crazy. About two thirds through the book, the plot takes a twist that I didn’t enjoy. It was a necessary turn; it moves the book along and brings the story full circle. However, if the author had found another way of doing this, The Dogs of Babel may have made it  to my top ten favorite novels of all time. I would recommend this book, five stars.