Archive for January 5th, 2009


The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.

Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Ecco (September 19, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0061768065

Book Description

Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar’s lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar’s paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles’ once peaceful home. When Edgar’s father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm–and into Edgar’s mother’s affections.

Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father’s death, but his plan backfires–spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father’s murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.


By the end of the first 70 pages, I was toying with the idea of setting this book back in the tbr pile… but I had a nagging feeling that it would get better .. so I read on.

It was at page 160 when you begin to wonder what it is about the Sawtelle dogs.  Around now, Edgar finds letters from Fortunate Fields that made him begin to understand just how much work went into breeding and training these dogs, but before  the story was about his family, his birth and how he learned to get along without speaking. It was slow and kept being tempted to not go back to it, but for no reason I can fathom I did continue to read.

I made it to page 240 where the mystery around his father’s death becomes apparent. Edgar believes his uncle murdered his father but has no way of proving it.

The book is a slow read.  At times I feel it getting boring, but then some small thing is mentioned to make me keep reading.  I did want to know more about the dogs and I wanted to know if the uncle really did murder his father or not.

It is the last 200 pages or so that get better.  More things seem to happen and more questions arise in your mind.  Is what Edgar know true?  How can he prove it?  Now he has to run and hide…  and now you begin to hear his uncle, Claude, sounding like he want’s Edgar to stay gone and not come back. Uncle Claude is not such a good guy??

I found those last 200 pages to be what I hoped the whole book would be like! It was good and it kept me reading faster and faster until I finally finished the book.  Because of those 200 pages I have to say I did enjoy the book.  It won’t go on my reread list, but I did finally like it. 

The ending takes some twists and isn’t quite how you think it will end.  I was also a little disappointed in the ending.. not totally, but I would have like things a little more defined as they ended.  I can’t explain it without telling the ending , and for those who plan to read this book I sure don’t want to give the ending away.

So.. that’s my first book of 2009! Not a bad read, but I hope for better reads during the year.



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