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Book Review: Almost Perfect

Almost Perfect by Diane Daniels Manning  (5 star review)

Almost Perfect

by Diane Daniels Manning

340 pages // published in 2014 // animal fiction


An old woman who has given up hope and a boy who believes the impossible wonder if life would be perfect at the Westminster Dog Show.

Seventy-year old Bess Rutledge has dreamed of winning the Westminster Dog Show all her life. Despite her decades-long career as one of America’s top Standard Poodle breeders, she has decided she’s too old to hold on to her foolish dream. She sells off all the dogs in her once famous kennel except for the aging champion McCreery and his mischievous, handsome son Breaker. Part of her senses they might have been the ones to take her to Westminster, if only she’d dared to try.

Bess meets Benny, a teenager with mild autism who attends a therapeutic special school, and learns he has a dream of his own: to impress his self-absorbed mother. Benny is drawn into the world of dog shows and becomes convinced he has found the perfect way to win his mother’s attention. If he can win Westminster with either McCreery or Breaker, he just knows she will finally be proud of him. Getting Bess to go along with his plan, however, is not going to be so easy. . .

My Review

5 Star Rating

I was immediately completely sold when I read this paragraph in the first chapter:

"His dad wouldn't let him have a dog -- period! -- but especially not a poodle. His dad said poodles were sissy dogs, and his dad was right. He had a book with pictures of every kind of dog in the world and had already picked out his favorite: a brown and white beagle like Snoopy. He wouldn't mind a collie like Lassie either."

(At this point I knew that me and Benny would get along great in this story, since we are on the same page when it comes to dog breeds.)

The story takes place in the 1990s. (I didn't quite catch on to the decade gap for a while.) Herein we find an aging woman snatching at a final chance to accomplish the unrealized dream of a lifetime. A young boy growing up, broken dreams shattering around him, until he finds a calling. A dog calling out for him.

I enjoyed the storyline quite a bit! However, in the author's writing style, I found a few dozen too many similes (for my personal taste).

Contains some allusions to adult content, although not detailed. Also includes topics related to dog breeding.

Minimum age to read: 16 and up.

Overall? If you're interested in any of the related topics, such as poodles, dog shows, mentally challenged kids, complicated family relationships, and unique friendship bonds, you'll probably like this novel.

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Book #7 completed

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1 comment:

  1. Jenny Dear8/21/2019

    I love just about any dog book, so I might end up reading it.