Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst

Here is a summary of the book from the Goodreads website:

Paul Iverson's life changes in an instant. He returns home one day to find that his wife, Lexy, has died under strange circumstances. The only witness was their dog, Lorelei, whose anguished barking brought help to the scene - but too late. In the days and weeks that follow, Paul begins to notice strange "clues" in their home: books rearranged on their shelves, a mysterious phone call, and other suggestions that nothing about Lexy's last afternoon was quite what it seemed. Reeling from grief, Paul is determined to decipher this evidence and unlock the mystery of her death. But he can't do it alone; he needs Lorelei's help. A linguist by training, Paul embarks on an impossible endeavor: a series of experiments designed to teach Lorelei to communicate what she knows. Perhaps behind her wise and earnest eyes lies the key to what really happened to the woman he loved. As Paul's investigation leads him in unexpected and even perilous directions, he revisits the pivotal moments of his life with Lexy, the brilliant, enigmatic woman whose sparkling passion for life and dark, troubled past he embraced equally.

My Review:
I am not a stranger to Parkhurst's writing, so when I found The Dogs of Babel at a used book sale, I snatched it up!  Plus, add the cover of a woman sleeping with a dog and it's a done deal for me.  We are brought along on a journey with Paul as he strives to uncover the reason for his wife's odd death.  

As Paul uncovers various clues that will hopefully help him figure out the reason for Lexy's death, we learn about their lives together and the darkness that she could not expel from her soul.  It really didn't matter what Paul did to try to make Lexy happy, because the darkness was always there, hovering just below the surface.  

Knowing that their dog Lorelei was with Lexy when she died, he feels that the dog would be able to offer him substantial information.  Paul then sets forth on a quest to try teaching his dog to talk.  Immersing himself in research, he is led to an organization that swears they have made strides in their experiments with dogs.  Paul can't help but have faith in the possibilities that lay ahead, but in the process he puts Lorelei's life in danger.  

This was an interesting story that left me on the edge of my seat quite often.  With themes of love, trust, and depression you may find this book as interesting as me.  I don't hesitate in recommending this novel for either personal leisure or as a book club discussion.

My Rating:  4/5

Disclosure:  This book is from of my personal collection and I read it for my own entertainment.


bermudaonion said...

It sounds like the tension in this book is done very well. Great review!

Bicycle Accident Attorney Seattle said...

Once I started reading The Dogs of Babel, I just could not put it down. It is a moving story about love and loss, at the same time giving the reader deep insight into the "mind" of a dog. An easy read but one you will definitely remember!