Lily and the Octopus

Lily and the Octopus
Lily is a twelve-year-old dachshund with a tumor…I’m sorry, “octopus” on her head. Her owner, Ted, can’t bring himself to acknowledge Lily’s illness and does everything in his power and imagination to save her. 

I have never read a “dog novel” in my life, because whenever a dog is a main character it can’t end well. Am I right? 

Lily and the Octopus received such great reviews that I broke my own rule and read a “dog novel.” This was NOT the book for me to start with. Rather than being a moving fictional read about a man’s love for his dog, this book was more magical realism about a man’s obsession with his dog’s tumor.

I understand that everyone handles grief in different ways. Ted’s reaction is denial, and rather than being able to enjoy the time he has left with Lily, (she is really really old) he breathes life into her tumor. His imagination turns it into a talking octopus. 

I liked the parts where Ted had flashbacks of his life with Lily, or when he and Lily had conversations. They were just so fleeting and always overshadowed by the octopus. 

Between the talking tumor, the self-pity, and an entire section (whole chapters) about a really weird dream, this book didn’t trigger any tears from me (and I have a four-year-old dog that’s going blind for reasons the vet can’t explain, so my baby’s death has crossed my mind more than once.)

This was a book that just wasn’t meant for me.


Title: Lily and the Octopus 
Author: Steven Rowley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Published: June 7, 2016
Maybe subconsciously I read a “dog book” just so I could post pictures of Darcie here on the blog. Here’s a little #tbt to when she was a newly adopted street mutt. 

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