This book is a saga about the Sawtelles and their exceptional dogs. Dogs not of a particular breed but bred for their qualities of obedience, loyalty and intelligence. Edgar was born to Trudy and Gar,as a mute. He learned sign language to communicate but he has grown up with the dogs and little outside contact. His father gives him his own litter to raise and train.
When Gar brings his brother, Claude into his home after his release from prison, the family is changed. Gar and Claude start to argue a lot and Edgar doesn't understand why. When Gar dies, Edgar knows he must learn everything that his grandfather and father knew about the dogs. But Claude is insinuating himself more and more into Edgar's and Trudy's lives. When Edgar tries to prove that Claude killed his father everything backfires and Edgar runs away.
This is a coming-of-age, a mystery, an animal and family story. The scenes from the wilderness that the author portrays are so very real. By far my favourite part of the book is the narration by Almondine, Edgar's faithful companion dog. These chapters are poignant and beautifully written.
First Line: "After dark the rain began to fall again, but he had already made up his mind to go and anyway it had been raining for weeks."