The Dogs of Littlefield
By Suzanne Berne
Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781476794242, January 2016, 288pp.
The Short of It:
Perfect suburban neighborhoods are anything but perfect.
The Rest of It:
Littlefield, Massachusetts, is this perfect little town filled with psychologists and professors, wide open spaces and dogs, lots of dogs. But as perfect as it sounds, the dogs are off-leash and the neighborhood is divided over whether to allow them to continue to go off-leash or to impose leash laws. In the middle of this debate, someone is poisoning dogs one by one which has set the entire neighborhood on edge.
On the surface, there is a lot of dog talk but really, as with any suburban neighborhood where everyone knows everyone else or at least seems to think they know everything about everyone else, there is a lot of conflict between husbands and wives, friends, etc. The white picket fences are just an illusion, really.
However, what could have been a really strong read was really just okay in my book. Halfway through, the story seemed to lose steam even though there was still plenty to know about what was going on in the neighborhood. But Berne’s depiction of suburbia was pretty spot-on and that is what carried me through.
In the end, I enjoyed getting to know a new author but wish that the pacing had held up a little better.
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13 thoughts on “Review: The Dogs of Littlefield”
It sounds good but I haven’t seen this book anywhere!
Too bad it lost steam because it sounds like it had a lot of potential.
It really did have a lot of potential. I love stories that center around suburban neighborhoods.
I wonder if Littlefield is based on a real place?! Might be interesting to find out.
I remember looking it up and no but that doesn’t mean the author didn’t base it on a town she knew. It felt like my town.
It would be a hard read for me since I’m a huge dog lover!
For me there just wasn’t enough justice to be had at the end.
I wonder if the author really likes dogs, interesting storyline. We live in a city with about 150 off-leash parks. I must say: I love it for my dog.
That is a good question. I kind of got the impression that the author did not like dogs at all. But the book was kind of all over the place so maybe that is a mistake on my part.
What an interesting story. “The white picket fences are just an illusion”. I like that line. As for dogs, what a coincidence. I’ve just seen a film from a film festival with a mischievous pug in it. 🙂
There are a lot of dog books coming out. I’ve seen many pitches for them over the past few months. I love dogs but I can’t stand the sad stories.
I hate that. I am listening to one now that may end up the same as what you say here… strong potential but does not reach it.
I am pretty choosy with my books so I don’t encounter this too often but when I do it’s a big disappointment.