Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Pug List by Alison Hodgson

Product Details
A Ridiculous Little Dog, a Family Who Lost Everything, and How They All Found Their Way Home

One morning, the Hodgson family awoke to their fire alarms blaring. Thinking it was a false alarm, they turned them off and went to check things out. The alarms started again. Rousing their children, they stumbled out the door and saw their garage was on fire. A random arsonist, it seems, stumbled on to their house and decided to burn it down. Over the course of the next few months, more houses burned. And while their house was never identified with the other houses, it was likely it was all the same guy.

Over the course of the next year, they dealt with insurance claims and paperwork and paperwork and post-traumatic-stress-disorder and decisions about building a new house and on and on. But finally they are back in their house, but it's not home. Nothing is familiar, even the landscape outside changed with digging for a new house. It take time to readjust. It takes time and a 9-year-old's desperate plea for a pug. She worked hard saving her money and when finally a pug, Outrageous Oliver, was found, they became inseparable. It was healing for her; her night time fears seem to disappear.

The book is classified as inspirational, but to be honest, to me it was much more just a story of loss and how being able to get all new stuff as a result of losing everything is not as fun and glamorous as it sounds. In other words, it was a story, a memoir maybe with a couple inspirational thoughts thrown in. This is not to say the book wasn't any good. I enjoyed it, but I just wouldn't classify it like it was. However, there were a few things she said in the book that stuck out to me.

After the fire, when Alison would get up at night, she would always stand on the last step and look out the window toward the road. One time when she did that, she was struck with the incredible beauty of the scene and she wonders, "Was the only reason I was here to witness this beautiful moment because an arsonist had set my house on fire? What else am I able to see that, without suffering, I would otherwise have overlooked? And what is happening all around me that I don't notice, that I'm looking past and just miss? C. S. Lewis said that pain is God's 'megaphone to rouse a deaf world.' Could it also be its microscope?"

How often do we pay more attention to detail after suffering? I'm writing two blog posts today, this one is easy, the next one will not be, but it speaks to this a bit. Because of death, do I value life more highly, do I appreciate people more? If I don't, I should. I found out yesterday, that a little boy 2 days younger than Amber was killed in a farm accident and so I hold on a little tighter to my little girl, grateful to still have her. Anyway, read my next post for more thoughts.

This book was given to me by Book Look Bloggers for the purpose of reading and writing a review on it. All opinions expressed are my own.

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