cover of book
 

One Dog Happy
by Molly McNett
University of Iowa Press, 2008
eISBN: 978-1-58729-737-3 | Paper: 978-1-58729-687-1
Library of Congress Classification PS3613.C5863O54 2008
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.6

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK

In this award-winning debut collection, Molly McNett couples laugh-out-loud dialogue and wry observation reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor with disquieting strains of dashed hope, troubled sexuality, and disillusionment.

The adults in these stories can seem as hapless and helpless as the younger characters. Two neglected daughters use the language of clothes to cope with their parents’ divorce and their father’s mail-order bride. A young girl’s bizarre sexual fantasies help her gain control over the chaos of her family life. A gang of teenagers accuse a farmer of bestiality. A divorced father tries to create a pony-filled world that might appeal to his daughters. In the title story, Mr. Bob, the minister’s housesitter, loses a dog but finds someone to believe in. And in “Helping,” the darkest story in this amazing collection, Ruthie’s anger conquers her religious faith when she takes care of a severely disabled child.

We meet McNett’s endearing, often foolish characters at a point when their minds are open to manipulation by the people and events around them, and the conclusions they draw are heartbreaking: I am not allowed weakness; life treats people unequally; perhaps there is no God. Yet throughout they find quiet moments of possibility, courage, and a return to faith and comfort.