Before I get any further, I just want to say that although the title makes it obvious that this book is about a dog, and although the author is himself a big fan of these canine creatures, I didn't really feel like this book was about a dog. Sure, Tucker was a character in the story and you can feel his importance. Not being a big pet lover myself, I wasn't sure I'd be able to really get into this story but I was easily pulled in and came to love both this family and their adopted pooch.
Kincaid, although dealing with something of a hefty subject matter, does not write this story in such a way that leaves you feeling sad or depressed. Yes, there are moments when you wish to change the family history in the book and you long for the way "things used to be" (perhaps a little in your own life as well!) At the same time, the reader can easily grasp hold of the hope that Christmas with Tucker has to offer. The refrain of the book is that although we may have suffered great loss in our lives, we can't change the past and we must learn how to keep pressing forward - with hope. No, this isn't a Christian novel but it plays out very well.
I thoroughly enjoyed this Christmas story. Thoroughly. Kincaid creates characters that you believe in, root for, cheer on and, yes, sympathize with as well. The chapters are incredibly short making this 180 page book a quick and easy, and extraordinarily pleasant Christmas read. I definitely plan on keeping this story on my bookshelf for yearly re-reads and I'm looking forward to snagging a copy of A Dog Named Christmas also. If Kincaid writes any additional Christmas stories, I'll be right on them!
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER (as selected by random.org) IS #31 - Cathy W. CONGRATULATIONS!
Thank you, Crown Publishing, for offering us this wonderful story!