A poignant and unforgettable tale of love, loss, and moving on . . . with the help of one not-so-little dog
Rocky's husband Bob was just forty-two when she discovered him lying cold and lifeless on the bathroom floor . . . and Rocky's world changed forever. Quitting her job, chopping off all her hair, she leaves Massachusetts—reinventing her past and taking a job as Animal Control Warden on Peak's Island, a tiny speck off the coast of Maine and a million miles away from everything she's lost. She leaves her career as a psychologist behind, only to find friendship with a woman whose brain misfires in the most wonderful way and a young girl who is trying to disappear. Rocky, a quirky and fallible character, discovers the healing process to be agonizingly slow.
But then she meets Lloyd.
A large black Labrador retriever, Lloyd enters Rocky's world with a primitive arrow sticking out of his shoulder. And so begins a remarkable friendship between a wounded woman and a wounded, lovable beast. As the unraveling mystery of Lloyd's accident and missing owner leads Rocky to an archery instructor who draws her in even as she finds every reason to mistrust him, she discovers the life-altering revelation that grief can be transformed . . . and joy does exist in unexpected places.
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Jacqueline Sheehan, Ph.D., is a fiction writer and essayist. She is a New Englander through and through, but spent twenty years living in the western states of Oregon, California, and New Mexico doing a variety of things, including house painting, freelance photography, newspaper writing, clerking in a health food store, and directing a traveling troupe of high school puppeteers. She is currently the fiction editor for Patchwork Journal, an online journal sponsored by Patchwork Farm, an internationally based writing center. Jacqueline teaches workshops on writing and the combination of yoga and writing.From Publishers Weekly:
In her second novel, Sheehan switches genres from her debut historical about Sojourner Truth to a contemporary tale of grief featuring Rocky Pelligrino, a woman reeling from her husband's death. After her husband dies of a heart attack, Rocky leaves behind her career as a psychologist in the Berkshire Mountains and moves to Peak's Island, Maine, taking a job as an Animal Control Warden. Her first catch is a black Lab with an arrow lodged in his shoulder. She takes him in, searches for his owner and tries to solve the mystery behind the arrow's origin. Rocky makes a few friends-anorexic teenage neighbor Melissa and strangely attractive archery instructor Hill Johnson-and her mission takes a surprisingly dark turn after she learns of Cooper's original owners. Dog lovers will adore Sheehan's portrayal of Cooper, who, in contrast to all the human suffering, comprises the bright spot in a melancholy novel.
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