BOOKS: Around the Next Corner
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2006:
Around the Next Corner by Elizabeth Wrenn
New American Library (c/o Penguin, 375 Hudson St.,
New York, NY 10014), 2006. 320 pages, paperback. $12.95.
Deena, a mother of three, married for what seems to be
forever, overweight, insecure and suffering all the emotions
involved with “midlife invisibility,” is locked into a marriage that
has become stale.
With one child away at college, two bored and selfish
teenagers, and a husband so busy at work that she rarely sees him,
Deena feels a void in her life as a wife and mother. Desperately
seeking to add meaning to her life of drudgery, Deena decides to
raise a puppy for K-9 Eyes for the Blind.
Little does she realise how much change this will bring. The
puppy opens new doors for Deena and helps her make new friends,
transforming not only her day to day existence, but her personality
too. Her self-confidence increases, rocking the family hierarchy.
She earns the respect of neighbours, friends and
To make the novel more authentic, Elizabeth Wrenn raised a
puppy herself. One might wish that she had become involved in
fostering rescued animals, rather than raising a purpose-bred pup,
and had written from that perspective, but her story will
nonetheless attract the empathy of rescuers and foster caregivers,
whose experiences are often closely comparable.