Jake is trying to escape from her past. She’s taken up a modest sheep farm on a remote, rocky island off the coast of England. It’s the sort of place where trees only get so tall because the wind never lets up. Here, she can be invisible, or nearly so. No one knows her or her past. Even her eponymous Dog isn’t particularly bound to the hearth fires.
Walking her pasture one day, she finds a sheep carcass, seemingly pulled apart methodically. Then another. She begins to see the strange happenings as not-so-subtle sings that she has been found.
Wyld writes with a sparsity and surety that reflects the setting. Characters are ghostly — wandering with blurred edges.
I hadn’t called in over a month. The last time no one was in and I let it ring out thinking about the phone in the front room, how the sound of it made the magpies lift off the veranda and then settle back down. How the air moved with the ringer, the air that smelled of washing left too long in the machine, of three young boys and their socks and undies, the long-gone fryer whose smell, as I remembered it, still soaked into the walls. Mum’s back-door cigarettes that we weren’t allowed to know about, and somewhere from an open window, the smell of sugar and eucalyptus, the hoe breath of the trees. ~Pg. 19
Often, the book reminded me of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. It’s bleak, unsettling and animalistic.
Many thanks to Danielle at Random House for the review copy.
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Pantheon (April 15, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches