Wednesday, February 4, 2015

# Almost Perfect # animals

Book Review: Almost Perfect

An old woman who has given up hope and a boy who believes the impossible wonder if life would be perfect at the Westminster Dog Show.

Seventy-year old Bess Rutledge has dreamed of winning the Westminster Dog Show all her life. Despite her decades-long career as one of America’s top Standard Poodle breeders, she has decided she’s too old to hold on to her foolish dream. She sells off all the dogs in her once famous kennel except for the aging champion McCreery and his mischievous, handsome son Breaker. Part of her senses they might have been the ones to take her to Westminster, if only she’d dared to try.

Bess meets Benny, a teenager with mild autism who attends a therapeutic special school, and learns he has a dream of his own: to impress his self-absorbed mother. Benny is drawn into the world of dog shows and becomes convinced he has found the perfect way to win his mother’s attention. If he can win Westminster with either McCreery or Breaker, he just knows she will finally be proud of him. Getting Bess to go along with his plan, however, is not going to be so easy. . .

Up to 100% of the author’s profits will be donated to charities serving animals and children.

When this book arrived in the mail, I cringed at the sheer size of it. This wasn't going to be a one night read, that's for sure! What it did turn out to be was a lovely bedtime read for over the course of a week or so. As someone who has always loved dogs, I fell in love with Breaker and McCreery and wished to know so much more about Bess's past as a breeder and showman. I loved the insights into how the show world works behind the scenes and I really enjoyed her as a curmudgeonly older woman who is at the point where she's having to give up her dreams, but you know that she has this secret soft spot. As for Benny, I had a bit more trouble with his side of the story. I felt as if there were blanks. Such as, how did he become such good friends with Steffie? What was the reality about his mother? What happened in the custody hearing? I also didn't feel as if it were made clear what his actual diagnosis was which made it a bit tough to relate to him.

I do love how he didn't give up and how he learned to handle his problems and his love for those dogs would make any animal lover smile. If you're looking for a fluffy puppy story, this isn't going to be the book for you, but if you're looking for a story with a whole lot of heart, pick this one up.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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