Monday, October 31, 2016

Lily and the Octopus

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. In Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley, denial is the only thing getting Ted Flask through the fear and heartache of facing the possible loss of his best friend. This utterly charming and emotional tale introduces us to two souls made for each other, who embark on an unforgettable, at times hilarious at others heartbreaking, odyssey as they fight a dastardly octopus intent on breaking the bonds of their love.

From the publisher: “When you sit down with Lily and the Octopus, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride. The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details. We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without. For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog.”

I loved, no let me get this right, I LOVED Lily and the Octopus, and if you’re a dog lover; no, I lie, if you have a beating heart and a sense of humor, you will too. Our tale offers two characters with bigger than life personalities that you can’t help but love, with the grandest wish of all, being cool enough to be a part of their circle of love. Yes, Ted and Lily have the kind of friendship that lets them chat about cute boys (I’m partial to Clooney myself), play monopoly on a quiet night in, and of course, be there for each other in the brightest days, but especially the darkest hours. The tale does have some fantastical elements to amp up its charm and magic, which might turnoff some readers; but if you go with the flow folks, you’ll be carried off to serene seas and a love story you won’t soon forget.

A word of warning to fellow pet owners, this book captures both the joys and heartache of pet ownership, and all that encompasses, so caveat emptor. At odd passages, I was dragged back to past moments of fear and sorrow involving my pets; back to vet rooms during health scares when I stood with pain in the pit of my stomach and trepidation in my heart waiting for words I was afraid to hear; or worse yet, those heartrending moments of loss. For those whom this pain is still raw and new, you might want to skip this book right now. Keep it in mind though for the future because on par with the captured pain, it also joyfully highlights the beauty of loving a pet; the moments of unadulterated happiness, hilarity, grossness (plenty of those) and, of course, unconditional love.

Lily and the Octopus is a quirky, humdinger of a story that will have you smiling in delight, wiping away tears (or ‘eye rain’ as Lily would say), and hugging your furry friends a little closer.