Running for One's Life

This hauntingly lovely tale parallels the journey of two people with that of a young dog. The victim of a puppy mill has seized an auspicious moment to escape his cage. Similarly, a gifted artist, Mariana Falla, has fled the constraints of the communist regime in Cuba shortly after the revolution. Daniel Sullivan, once a dedicated veterinarian, likewise has broken free from a web of despair. Having discovered that someone deliberately set fire to his clinic, he has lost faith in humanity.

The author delves into the mind and heart of the small dog. She puts into words his imagined thoughts and feelings during his lonely trek through a deep and ever-winding ravine and his climb up into the daunting Adirondack Mountains. Despite the bitter cold and blasting Nordic wind, there is a magic weaved through nature, a beauty which guides and leads as the story unfolds. The same principle acts upon Mariana and Daniel as they together search for the lost dog.

They are not without guides, however. Virginia Goia, a middle-aged woman who manages the village animal shelter, befriends them. She encourages Mariana in her search for the lost dog, and she supports the latter's efforts to close down the puppy mill. Also, Virginia listens to Daniel's heart and inspires hope in him. The runaway dog has a guide as well. A little dog suddenly enters his life. This stranger is radiant, as though of fairy dust, and is elusive.

--Lauren Jedlan

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