This is the story of a dog named Scraggly. Born an outsider because of her distinctive appearance, she spends most of her days in the sun-filled yard of her owner’s house. Scraggly has dreams and aspirations just like the rest of us. But each winter, dark clouds descend and Scraggly is faced with challenges that she must overcome. Through the clouds and even beyond the gates of her owner’s yard lies the possibility of friendship, motherhood and happiness – they are for the taking if Scraggly can just hold on to them, bring them home and build the life she so desperately desires.
The Dog Who Dared to Dream is a wise tale of the relationship between dog and man, as well as a celebration of a life lived with courage. Translated into English for the first time, it is a classic from Sun-mi Hwang, an international bestselling author.
I received a copy of this book in the mail yesterday and I was so excited when I got home from work and found the package waiting for me on the table! I’d never heard of the book before but I was immediately intrigued when I read the synopsis so I decided to kick back after a long shift at the bookstore and enjoy an evening of reading (because after a day spent selling books to others who wouldn’t want to indulge in the pleasure of reading!?!)
My first impression of the book based on the synopsis was that the book is intended for a young audience. However, after reading the novel I would say that while the book would be appropriate for kids, you will appreciate the morals of the story and the themes of love, loss, grief, and friendship more so as an adult reader than you would as a child. In fact, I could easily see this book being popular among book clubs due to the latter themes and the deeper meaning that can be found within the book. After finishing the book I had a compulsion to talk to someone about it because I wanted to reflect on and interpret the life of Scraggly and her experiences so it would be perfect for anyone looking for book club book recommendations!
If I had to make a comparison, I would say that this book is most reminiscent of Charlotte’s Web (and that is a huge praise considering that Charlotte’s Web is my favorite book of all time). The reason I make this comparison is because the writing is not overly complex nor does the story seem extremely mature; however, the overarching themes in the book are extraordinarily deep and powerful.
It’s strange to conceptualize a book about the life of a dog as being relatable; however, The Dog Who Dared To Dream brought about a strong sense of empathy and compassion within me while I was reading it. While I obviously cannot relate to the specific experiences of Scraggly, I could relate to the emotions that those experiences evoked. Oddly enough, the perspective of Scraggly and how she reacted and coped with various life events had me reflecting on my own experiences and how I overcame various challenges throughout my life. In this sense, I think that the author does an amazing job of highlighting the downfalls and triumphs of the human experience while writing from the perspective of Scraggly the dog.
I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads and I will definitely be recommending it to my friends and family, as well as my customers at the bookstore. I read the book in a mere three hours because I absolutely could not put it down. It’s a perfect summer read if you’re looking to purchase a copy in September upon it’s release! I hope you’ll consider buying and reading The Dog Who Dared To Dream and I would love it if you would let me know what you think in the comments below if/when you do!
Note: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest reader review. The opinions expressed herein are my own.