An extraordinary debut novel, Baume’s beautifully poetic prose tells a quirky story of a solitary recluse and his misfit dog. In fact the narrative throughout is just the man speaking to the dog. This book won’t be for everyone, but I loved it.
Baume is a skilled writer and her apt descriptions are unique, gritty, honest, and completely unsentimental considering the sadness of the tale. This is not a page turner (aside from a few surprises), but a thoughtful journey into humanity–an original novel about loneliness, loss, and the restorative power of companionship. One can savour the author’s brilliant command of language and soak up the atmosphere she creates.
Ray avoids social interaction as much as possible, living alone in the house he grew up in with his father near the sea. On the necessary weekly trip into town (always on a Tuesday) he sees an ad for a rescue dog. I had hoped that the dog would help him to get out more and engage with others but alas, One Eye is so named because of an unfortunate encounter with a badger and he is vicious. He bites other dogs at every opportunity. But these two wounded souls have become so close that the man cannot bear to give the dog up. Together they end up on the run.
Note: The title refers to the time frame of the book which covers four seasons, beginning with Spring.