Every once in a while, you read a book that actually outshines its publicity. Rarely, you find one that comes across with more than the author expected or, I suspect, even realizes now. For the Love of Daisy is such a book.
Sure, it’s a book about the author and her dog, the trials they go through, and the incredible devotion that keeps them both fighting against all odds. That’s what the publicity says, so we assume that’s what Cas Peace thinks she wrote.
When we read fiction, we take at face value that what the author wrote is what the author intended. However, when someone writes autobiography, there is an added interest. What can the discerning reader tell about the author that perhaps the author didn’t realize is there?
Ms. Peace started to write this book during a time of extreme stress. I’m sure it was her therapy, her way of dealing with mourning and loss. So, besides the wonderful dog story she intended to tell, this is also a tale of the fortitude required to deal with the decline of loved ones, when age proclaims its inevitable verdict on their mental as well as physical beings, when there is nothing you can do but hold on and wait for the end.
It is about the grieving process, and what you do to stay sane in a situation over which you have no control. It speaks of the desperate need for respite, the wonderful healing which comes from a cherished hobby, and the solace of a solid marriage when everything else is slipping away. It tells about the support of family, friends, and the caring professionals who help us through the dark times. It also shows the heartbreak when those we depend on, in both our social circle and the professional world, don’t show the care and competence we need.
Because this is a review, I have to mention that the story is also a bit rambling, convoluted in plot line, and sometimes wordy when everything has already been said. While the author of fiction can manipulate the plot to get the suspense points and climaxes in the right places, this is not so easy when dealing with a real timeline, so this book has its flat spots. It’s also the true story of the life of a dog, so you already know the ending. In spite of all this, the story leaves you uplifted and better prepared to deal with the trials of your own life.
For the Love of Daisy is a moving and heartwarming tribute to the strength of the human (and canine) soul in the face of adversity.