When a dog is the hero of a story, what on earth is not to like?!
What an excellent tale from Kitty Sutton. One of fact and fiction, married perfectly to create a story set around the appalling eviction of the Cherokee to new territories, in the nineteenth century.
Vital supplies from government are not reaching these destitute people. Though many—old and young—are dying from the hardship, the death of a little boy is incomprehensible to his older sister, Sasa, who is confused by his dying words. And so, she has a puzzle to solve. Alone—but determined—companionship, protection, and help, arrive in the form of a four-legged assistant: Wheezer, no less. A very smart Jack Russell terrier, who has fled his beloved master in terror when an explosion frightens his whiskers off. When his owner finally catches up with him, Sasa finds another unexpected ally in solving her puzzle and the mystery surrounding a carved painted frog, and together they uncover betrayal, greed, and the reasons why their lifeline is being cut off from them.
The title—and indeed the cover—belies the content of this book. I confess I was expecting a children’s story. How wrong was I! There was murder, crime, fraud, mystery, deception, a teensy weensy bit of romance, and adventures aplenty for one very smart little dog. The story is fictional, yes, but the historic Cherokee ‘Trail of Tears’ is not, nor is the intelligence and lovability of Jack Russells. The factual perimeters envelop a compelling story with wonderfully conceived and portrayed characters (how about Mary Walkingstick? Fabulous!). Kitty’s research has left no stone unturned and has created a vivid and detailed setting for this easy-to-read and enjoyable novel.