The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

by David Wroblewski

Anne Ferber: This is a wonderful, unique novel of a family whose business is breeding and training dogs to be loyal companions to those with whom they are placed. The boy, Edgar, is born mute and has a special relationship with the dogs as he is able to communicate with them thru signs and expressions.

The family's idyllic life is interrupted by the sudden death of Edgar's father whom he adores and admires, and made worse when his father's brother, Claude comes to replace him as the head of the family. Yes, this is most definitely a play on the Hamlet theme. The writing is so beautiful, like an impressionistic painting; you feel like you are roaming the woods of Northern Wisconsin with Edgar and are feeling all his pain, challenges and joys--especially his interactions with the dogs--as he tries to make his way thru a difficult, adolescent time.

As with all tragedies, the ending is difficult, but foretold, and there is much to enrich the reader's emotional and intellelectual imagination.
Rating: *****

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