The misunderstood dog and rambunctious ghosts
Releases from authors in P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador comically prove novels try to imitate life
A tragi-comic novel may well be the best kind. After all, life is like that, and most novels try to imitate life, in some way.
Here we have not one, but two fine examples of the kind, one from Prince Edward Island and one from Newfoundland and Labrador.
From the Island comes “Molly and Company’’ by Margaret A. Westlie. It’s a sequel to “Shades of Molly’’, a story set in a nursing home, and full of rambunctious ghosts. At a cost of $18.95, it is available at Island bookstores and online.
The book from Newfoundland and Labrador is called “The True Confessions of a Badly Misunderstood Dog’’. Author Bill Rowe, politician, columnist, novelist, and more, has been delighting and annoying readers for many years. Published by Flanker, it costs $19.95. The story is fictionalized, featuring photos of “the original Durf ’’ on the back pages.
There are no pictures of Molly in the book, named for her. Here’s an example of the dialogue: “What’s this about a ghost hunt?” said Molly.
“This guy had an accident,” said Mary Ann, “and he’s been in a coma, and the last couple of days strange things have been happening in his house. His wife is in the house alone and she’s scared out of her wits.”
These words come early in the story of Molly and her friends, humans and are ghostly. The book is mainly concerned with Willie Poste, a renowned artist and a nasty man, who’s hovering between life and death. He’s sent over to Molly, Lucy and Larry to see if they can rehabilitate him before he has to go back to mortal life. In a beautiful meadow with a brook running through, they work at it with difficulty because of Willie’s inherent lack of co-operation.
Meanwhile, the human ghost hunters are having a lot of trouble trying to find who is doing the haunting.
The dialogue in this book especially lifelike. The story reads fast and well with no bumps caused by mistakes in language.
If you haven’t figured out where the tragedy comes in, read the book.
The badly misunderstood dog tells its own story. At first, the dog thinks he’s human as he plays with Nice Boy and Nice Girl, his human family. Then he gradually comes to believe he’s in charge of the whole household. His attitude to the two cats is ambiguous. His misadventures are funny and sad, and always well-written. Definitely a book to read.