“Sometimes it seems as if my emotions are strapped to a roller coaster, and the shady-looking fairground guy is having a smoke and has forgotten to activate the stop button.”
Suzy Medley is having a bad day when a scruffy, skinny, terrier mix turns up at her door. Just like Suzy, Scout has been abandoned, although only Suzy has been left with a financial mess and a business in tatters, thanks to her ex.
Suzy takes Scout in and her chaotic world begins to change in unexpected ways: strangers become more welcoming and her teenage kids can’t wait to come home to visit. Then, a chance encounter on a windy Hebridean beach makes things more complicated, because Suzy isn’t the only one who needs a furry friend to brighten up their lives.
Scout has plenty of love to go round… but does Suzy?
The story follows two people/families brought together in Sgadansay, a remote Scottish island in the Hebrides. But the dog share is not what the novel is about. It only plays a facilitator to the plot. Is the title misleading, then? Maybe.
After her ex sinks his father’s inheritance in a whisky distillery and decides he wants nothing more to do with it, Suzy moves to Sgadansay in an attempt to save this once thriving business she is half-owner of. There, she finds an abandoned terrier whom she eventually adopts out of sheer loneliness and names him Scout for his trooper-like skills. She also befriends Cara, a dog-mom who recently lost her beloved dog and is struggling to cope with the loss. While Suzy is trying to win back the confidence of the employees at the distillery, Cara offers to dog-sit Scout.
Ricky, single dad to ten-year-old Arthur travels often to Sgadansay where his father lives. Harry, who was the master distiller at Sgadansay Distillery resigned a few months ago, apparently disgusted with how things were developing. During their travels to Sgadansay, in which, at some point, Ricky breaks up with his girlfriend, Arthur and Ricky befriend Scout.
Of course, you can smell trouble brewing from a mile considering the situation, and the people involved. I do think the storyline had plenty of scope to explore character growth and the dog share angle. There was also a mystery surrounding Cara that was subtly hinted at a couple of times but was left unresolved. Although, the bonds of sisterhood displayed in Suzy’s relationship with Cara and her sister are stirring.
Suzy and Ricky are just under fifty years old so this is not the young, cutesy romance brought about by a dog as the title will have you believe. As I see it, this is a story about friendships, fresh starts, and second chances.
Entertaining, funny, and strangely addictive, it validates that there is no age limit to building deep meaningful friendships, finding love, or getting a do-over.
Book 9 of 2021.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.
Available on Amazon*.
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