The Mountaintop School for Dogs

and Other Second Chances

By Ellen Cooney

Report by Eve Vanderneck

Book Overview

When you hear the words "dog story," the image that comes to mind is usually of a heroic connection between man and canine, becoming the best of friends. This story, however, is an exception. A healing and inspiring tale of a broken woman, Evie, and very tormented abused dogs, shows us as readers how the most dispirited of beings can help each other back to happiness. This fiction novel provides the important theme of overcoming difficult challenges through love, kindness, and helping others.
Evie, a broken-down loner, didn't know exactly what she was getting herself into whilst browsing on the internet one evening, looking for a job. All she knew was that it was time for a new start. When Evie arrives at her place of employment, she is submerged in a life full of healing, caring for, and soothing abandoned, abused dogs...animals that remind her of what she has been through in her past. How the dogs help Evie become a happy, vibrant human again, you'll have to see for yourself.

What Did I enjoy about the book?

I really enjoyed the stories told about the dogs and how they responded to certain things. I liked how being around dogs comforted Evie and made her feel better. When a dog and Evie would make a connection, it would make me feel happy for her and the dog. I also enjoyed the simplicity of the plot, and how down-to-earth the storyline was.

Was the Ending Satisfactory?

The ending to this book was adequate, though not awe-inspiring in my opinion. The book ends with a random encounter between Evie and Mrs. Auberchon, the innkeeper of the village, probably to show how Evie has become friendly and effervescent, but it wasn't tear-jerking or uplifting by any means.

Would I recommend this book?

I would not necessarily recommend this book to any random reader. Although it had a good message, it was slow-moving at times, and not very action-packed, so to speak. Unless you are a huge dog lover, or an ex-cocaine-addict like Evie, you might not find this story extremely interesting.

What Characters Play Important Roles that Relate to the Overall Theme?

There are two main characters that play important roles in this book. Evie, the main girl, is the reason for this story, and how she transforms the atmosphere at a dog rescue center. She tells the story from her point of view, and how every happening affects her emotionally. The other main character is Mrs. Auberchon, the innkeeper, whose chapters are written in third-person. This is to personify the changing mood of the town as Evie makes her mark on the community.