Novelist Jim Kraus has been steadily building a brand writing heartwarming stories that explore the impact domestic animals have on the human experience—and vice-versa. In The Dog that Saved Stewart Coolidge, he crafts a story about twentysomethings struggling to carve out their own niches in the world and how a stray dog brings them together.
The book opens when a loose dog sneaks into the Tops Super Market in the small town of Wellsboro, Pa., and successfully steals a rawhide bone from the pet aisle. When the bone-wielding bandit starts returning regularly to the scene of the crime to make additional heists, Stewart Coolidge, a recent college graduate who can't find a job and works as a grocery store bagger, is enlisted by the store owner to catch the elusive thief. The recurring incidents soon become the talk of the town. Whose dog is it and where did he come from? When a local (and conniving) used car dealer decides to capitalize on the situation--and offers a reward for the dog, which he falsely claims is his own--Stewart, in his quest to wrangle up the stray, joins forces with Lisa, his neighbor, also a recent college grad with journalism ambitions, who works at the local coffee house.
While Stewart tries to capture the renegade dog, Lisa begins to cover the story for the town news. In their pursuit, the two become friends. But will their past heartbreaks and disappointments in life and love keep them from being honest with each other and prevent their friendship from blossoming into romance?
When the vagabond canine criminal, whom Lisa and Stewart come to call Hubert (named after The Patron Saint of Dogs), eventually shows up at the apartment house where Lisa and Stewart live--and Stewart decides to secretly take Hubert in--the dog's presence and his mischievous actions deepen the couple's relationship and things grow even more complicated around town. What repercussions will occur in harboring a four-legged fugitive?
Details of small town life ring with authenticity, along with the stresses young people face in meeting the expectations of others and finding and taking their places in the world while remaining true to themselves. Kraus (The Dog that Talked to God) presents a lovable cast of townsfolk and a suspenseful plot that is ultimately infused with a faith-based message that unites the spiritual themes of this wholesome, feel-good story.
FaithWords, $14.99 Paperback, 9781455562541, 336 pp
Publication Date: October 27, 2015