When I was first contacted by Author John Philip Riffice asking if I would review his latest book Dog and Butterfly, I was hesitant when he informed me that this book does not feature a dog in the “starring” role. READ ON.
John elaborated in his email, explaining that the dog, (Ellis, a Jack Russell Terrier) who spends his time chasing the oh-so-elusive butterfly, and is referenced numerous times throughout Dog and Butterfly, intrigued me. The symbolism didn’t fall on deaf ears.
I began reading Dog and Butterfly on one of my Thursday Physical Therapy visits for my shoulder. When the assistant came into the room and interrupted my reading, I was upset. I did NOT want to put this book down.
I was hooked when I read: “Character is much easier kept than recovered.” Thomas Paine
I let out an audible “Ah-ha” and knew that this one was going to be a winner. I was NOT disappointed. As I turned the pages I felt as if I had made a most unexpected “find.” This book grabbed my heart and soul and did NOT let go…..not even after having read the final. page.
Believe me when I tell you that Dog and Butterfly is one of the BEST books that I have read….EVER.
Dog and Butterfly is a story of fate, and how everything we do in our lives has a reason and a purpose, we may not know it at the time, but eventually the secrets and meaning of our actions, (or our lack of action) will be revealed to us. It is just a matter of time.
From the author:
This book deals with the loss of a loved one, the loss of a love, and the horrors of war, all, unfortunately, part of
our daily existence. Fortunately, Dog and Butterfly concerns itself with how these oftentimes tragic events shape our
lives and must occur, ”just so the next thing can,” as main character Cameron Freeland so
often stated. This is a story of fate and how all our lives can be
touched by one simple, seemingly insignificant event.
To read the first chapter click here
From the moment I began reading, I kept repeating to my husband whenever he was within earshot, “I LOVE THIS BOOK.” To be completely candid, it is one of the first books that I have reviewed that is so good that I kept feeling that I wouldn’t be able to find the words to do it justice.
Author John Philip Riffice has created characters (Uncle Cam, Jimmy, Charlotte) with personalities so vivid that the reader feels as if they know them. As I read this marvelous book, I hurt, cried, laughed, rejoiced, cheered and felt the full gamut of emotions that they were experiencing.
About Dog and Butterfly:from John Philip Riffice’s website:
After his brother’s untimely passing, Cam Freeland takes in his sister-in-law and four year-old nephew, Charlotte and Jimmy, just until they get on their feet and find a place of their own. But that day never comes. Cam enjoys having them in his life, and they enjoy being there. Cam raises Jimmy almost as though the boy were his son, forming a bond of love, respect, and friendship that will last beyond a lifetime. In doing so, young Jimmy slowly discovers that his uncle Cam is far nobler than he could have ever imagined, a stand-up guy in every respect.
Except one. Cam has a skeleton in his closet, one which shames him terribly, and fate calls on Jimmy to investigate further. He does, and the secret he uncovers surprises him. And so does the next. And the next after that. But the biggest revelation of all lies in Jimmy’s discovery that fate controls every aspect of his life and that there are no accidents and there are no coincidences, just as Uncle Cam had always told him.
When I finished reading Dog and Butterfly (the Saturday after I first began reading. At 333 pages I FLEW through it because it held my attention on every page!), I did NOT want the book to end. I strongly encourage you to add this sensitive, thought-provoking and beautifully written book to your library, even if it does NOT feature a dog in the “starring role.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Author John Riffice passed the first half of his adult life working in heavy industrial construction. After a serious work-related injury, he pursued a lifelong interest in teaching and took up a career in education, culminating in a rewarding life instructing children with disabilities. This experience, coupled with his understanding of the challenges facing single parents as well as all the intimacies of alcoholism, enable him to weave interesting tales of love, friendship, betrayal and deceit. He demonstrates an uncanny ability to paint a unique literary landscape as seen through the eyes of both children and mature adults. He has a grown daughter and lives in Chicago with Karen, his wife of twenty years.
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