About the Book
A Ukrainian street dog is rescued from certain death by an expat family. As he travels to new countries with them a darkness grows and he finds himself narrating more than just his story. More than a dog story. Ultimately it’s a story of escape and survival but maybe not his. The world through Wee Dan’s eyes is told in a voice that will stay with you long after you turn that last page.
The animals in this book are all real, as are their stories. The people’s names have been changed to protect their privacy. Fact or fiction? Well, dogs can’t talk, can they?
Format: ebook (396 pp.) Publisher: Published: 2nd Sep 2017 Genre: Fiction
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Rescued from the streets of Ukraine, Dan finds a new, loving home with lots of fresh experiences to tell us about. Dan has a dog’s preoccupations: food, smells, trees, chasing things, long walks. So as a narrator, his is always a limited view of events, many of which he does not fully understand and therefore cannot always interpret for us the reader. I suspect if you are a dog you could never grow tired of the walks through the countryside, to the park or to the beach which play such a major part in the book.
If you are a dog lover you will find this book enchanting. It was particularly effective at illustrating the sensitivity of dogs to the feelings of humans, with Dan able to interpret his owner’s moods from her gestures, heartbeat, and so on. Since this is a story that involves a strained domestic relationship, quite often Dan is sensing nervousness, sadness, anger and even fear. He can sense when something is not right with his owner.
‘Her voice was bright but I knew she was pretending that it was all okay. It wasn’t. But this is what she did. Pretended. She could pretend to people. She could pretend to herself. But we knew. Dogs know, you see.’
I’m not a dog owner so it was the human story that held as much interest for me and this came to the fore much more as the book progressed. The cover of the book suggests something dark, and it’s true there are some dramatic and traumatic elements to the story. But this would be to overlook the charm of the book and the charm of wee Dan. Dan is the constant in his owner’s life that brings her succour through his unconditional love and loyalty. Dan Knew is a celebration of the rich, mutually-sustaining relationship that can form between humans and animals.
I received a review copy courtesy of the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
In three words: Charming, emotional, gentle
Try something similar…Flush by Virginia Woolf
About the Author
Fiona dropped out of school aged 15, because being the consummate rebel, she hated it! After becoming a single parent she decided to return to education, graduating in 1996 with an honours degree in primary education. Ah, the irony! As soon as she graduated she packed everything she owned into her Renault 11, including her daughter, two dogs and a cat, and headed off to Estonia to become an international school teacher. After fifteen years of teaching, predominantly in Eastern Europe, she returned to the UK . She now lives on the east coast of Scotland with two Scottish rescue dogs and a disgruntled Portuguese cat.
Fiona is the author of two books: To Retribution, a love story/political thriller set in times of turmoil and Dan Knew, a fictionalised account of her travels told through the eyes of Dan, her rescued Ukrainian street dog.
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