Forty-year-old preschool teacher Sarah Hurlihy thought she'd set herself up for a great life. She'd married the man she loved. They bought a house, decorated it, and then sat, looking at each other, trying to remember why they'd gotten married in the first place. But Sarah didn't have to wonder for long; her husband took up with a younger woman, sounding the death knell for their marriage, and propelling Sarah back into singlehood -- at the same time as her newly widowed father.
Thrown unwillingly into the suburban dating pool alongside her dad, Sarah is ambivalent about the whole process, despite her ticking clock and thoughts that she might enjoy a child of her own. But Sarah's large, loving Irish clan comes to her rescue -- her married sister placing a personal ad in her name and regularly monitoring Sarah's dating progress; and her brother, Michael, helps her feel lovable when he seeks out her comfort and advice while riding out his own rocky marriage.
I don't say this often, but in this case it's absolutely true: The movie is waaaaaaaay better than the book. A thousand times better. I actually didn't know Must Love Dogs was a book until I got another Claire Cook book that was a Free Friday NOOKbook, and it mentioned that Cook wrote Must Love Dogs. So I decided to get it and see how it was like. Unfortunately, as I stated earlier, it was bad.
Sarah in the book felt bland. I didn't connect to her, and she felt like cardboard. Her siblings were just as wooden and bland. Basically all of the characters were bland.
I think my issue with this book (and the reason I couldn't finish it), lies with the writing. Ms. Cook's writing style didn't fit with the story. I kept skipping page after page, waiting for the writing to be good, waiting for something to be good. Alas, nothing came about.
I hope not to say this again, but if you want to experience Must Love Dogs, watch the movie, it's wonderful.
I'll next be reviewing An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.
Until next time, viva la literature!