Claire Cook's beguilingly original Ready to Fall
vibrant chord with its "perky take on midlife angst"
(Publishers Weekly). In Must Love Dogs she gives us
contemporary Everywoman in a big rollicking south-of-Boston
Irish family-a zany novel with the flavor of Nora Ephron,
Susan Isaacs, and Jeanne Ray's Julie and Romeo.
Forty-year-old Sarah Hurlihy, a divorced preschool teacher
whose life is her classroom, is about to meet her first
date in more than a decade. It was the "Loves Dogs" that
hooked her in the personal ad, and now she is scanning her
neighborhood café for the man with a yellow rose. And find
him she does, but he's the last person on earth she expects
to find there . . .
In Must Love Dogs, hilarious missteps abound. Sarah's
widowed father, Billy Hurlihy, with six adult kids, is
seeing at least two women. And he and Sarah aren't the only
Hurlihys with romantic challenges. Her brother Michael, for
one, has a rocky marriage that Mother Teresa, his St.
Bernard, just may put over the edge. With self-deprecating
humor and a laugh-out-loud view of the way we live now,
including shar pei/Labrador crosses and a transgenerational
body-piercing experience, Must Love Dogs is a perfect beach
read that melts the heartache of dating with warmth and