I was desperate to read Lily and the Octopus from the moment I heard about it – I love stories about relationships between people and their dogs. And oh gawd, this book did not disappoint! Warning – there are spoilers ahead.
Lily and the Octopus is about a man named Ted and his aging dog, Lily. One day he spots a growth on her noggin, and unable to deal with what it could mean, imagines it to be an octopus clinging to poor Lily’s head. He argues with it, threatens it and plots it’s demise. This isn’t as odd as it sounds, as Ted often speaks to Lily and she speaks back. And she plays board games. Yeah, the book can be a bit surreal at times. Logically, you know it’s all in his head, but at times you can’t help but wonder…
The surreal and occasionally humorous nature of the story makes the sad plot easier to bear, until Ted is forced to drop the illusions and reality comes crashing in. The inevitable conclusion to their journey is gut wrenching.
Guys, this book made me bawl, with full on ugly crying in my living room. I’ve been through what Ted experienced, and it rips your heart out, stomps on it and hands it back to you all dented and broken. Rowley has captured it perfectly, and his writing style is brilliant. I feel like I need to read it again, just to fully appreciate the beauty he has created.
Buy, borrow or steal this book – whatever. Just read it.