Jane is deeply unhappy. At 24, just starting out in life, she feels as though she has come to the end of the road. She lives with a smothering boyfriend in Atlanta, a city she dislikes, putting her dreams of being an author on hold just to make ends meet. She exists, but she does not live, no matter how hard she tries or prays for some kind of sign. No one answers. Things disintegrate further when she looses her job. With only a few hundred dollars in her bank account and feeling lost, she heads north to a cabin in the Smoky Mountains to regroup and get her life back on track. One wet, rainy day, she stops at a mountain outlook, thinking that if God is anywhere, surely she will find Him here. But the silence is louder than ever. Enraged and frightened, she pleads, screams, and threatens whatever is out there until a chance misstep sends her crashing onto the stony outcrop.
Waking with a large, throbbing lump, Jane is at first frightened and then bewildered to find that she has developed an interesting gift: she can understand the speech of animals and plants. Soon, a guide arrives: a tough and capable but compassionate stray mutt who calls himself Max. With Max as her companion, Jane slowly learns about the power that has always existed within her to change, to choose, and to fill her life with meaning. Together they wander the mountains, speaking with ancient trees, animals, and insects who share their purpose and wisdom with the two strays.
Jeanne Webster, a certified life coach, has written a narrative that is both a novel and a guide for those of us seeking our own passion and authenticity as human beings. Based around Native American stories she heard as a child, the plot is heavily focused on Jane’s, and by extension the reader’s, inner journey. As Jane finds her truth through the wisdom of the natural world, we begin to believe that such a transformation is possible for us as well. Readers will be particularly charmed by the sweet and lovable Max, a familiar figure of wisdom and grace to any friend of dogs.
Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.