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Mswas’ CBR-III Review #12 – Rose in a Storm by Jon Katz

02/28/2011

Rose in a Storm by Jon Katz

Rose in a Storm by Jon Katz is a really wonderful book, and I highly recommend it.  Told from the point of view of Rose, a hard working farm dog, it is imaginative, touching, and well written. Rose lives on a farm with owner, Sam, but Rose watches over the farm and considers it hers.

[Sam] knew better than to ignore Rose, especially at lambing time. She seemed to have a sort of map of the farm inside her head, a picture of how things ought to be. Whenever something was wrong or out of place–an animal sick, a fence down, an unwelcome intruder–she knew it instantlsy, and called attention to it, sniffing, barking, circling. She constantly updated the map, it seemed to Sam.

Rose watches Sam closely, for cues about the farm and their tasks, but also because Sam is a widower who recently lost his wife.

Sam appeared different to Rose than he used to, quieter, not as strong, not as clear-headed. A lot of things were different since the night Katie had been taken from the house.

The very map of the farm had changed.

And the map of the farm is going to change again soon, greatly. A huge blizzard is heading to the region – a storm of the century, and Sam and Rose must weather the storm and make sure the farm and animals survive.  The wind, the amount of snow, loss of power, predators, and injuries are going to combine to make this storm a huge threat.

Jon Katz does a remarkable job conveying this story with very little actual dialogue. The inner thoughts of Rose, the other animals, and Sam make up most of the book, but this isn’t a cutesy, light-hearted novel. It’s a serious look at love and grief and loss and faithfulness.

She turned back for a moment and looked down the path, as ever alert for signs of Katie, who often walked there. She knew Katie was not in the woods that day, for she had just run through them.

But she always looked.

I’ve never read any of Katz’s other works, but he’s written about fifteen other books, and they’re now on my “to-read” list.

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