Thursday, 14 May 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: "Free Days with George" by Colin Campbell

"Free Days With George" by Colin Campbell
When Colin Campbell returned home from a business trip one day, his wife, the love of his life, announced that she was leaving him. In order to help him get through the divorce, Colin's friend suggested he adopt a dog. After much deliberation, Colin decided to adopt George, a 140-pound Landseer Newfoundland. This is the true story of how their love helped and changed them both for the better.

Early on in the book, Colin explains the notion of a "free day." When he and his brother were younger, their grandfather would encourage them to spend days doing things they loved with the people they loved. On those days, they didn't age - it was a free day.

I think that's such a wonderful way of looking at life, because days when you can do that kind of thing are great days. I absolutely love the idea of a free day, and I intend to try and live as many of those as I can.

Colin and George found each other when they needed each other the most; Colin was going through a divorce and George had been abused and abandoned - a big dog who was so full of love, was left not fully trusting people.

It was so sad to read about the way George reacted to people at first - I'm always shocked when I hear that an animal has been abused, I just don't understand how anyone could hurt or even be mean to such loving, caring, sweet creatures.

But it was truly amazing to read about how much George changed and essentially regained his faith in humanity, all by having Colin love him. George is a different dog than when Colin first met him. George changed Colin as well, and it's so clear how much he cares about George and how lucky he feels to have him in his life.

It was a pleasure to read this memoir. Colin is great at writing and storytelling, and I felt like I was there, experiencing George and his big personality. There are so many funny stories about Colin and George's life together.

I found myself experiencing so many different things while reading this - sadness, laughter, appreciation, happiness...there's so much contained within the pages.

It made me think a lot about Rosie, our golden retriever, and how much I appreciate her love. Every time I walk through the front door, she sprints over, her whole behind wagging from side to side with excitement. I love my cats very much, but dogs have a different way of showing their love - they lay it all out in the open and it's an innocent, unconditional love. It's an amazing feeling to have someone always be so incredibly happy to see you - how could I not appreciate or return that love?

This story is the perfect example of how deep human-dog relationships go. By loving each other, Colin and George changed each other for the better. Their life gives you a real appreciation for how much meaning these relationships can have, and how much they can heal.

If you like stories about humans and their animal counterparts, you'll love Free Days With George. You don't even have to be a dog-lover, although it's hard not to fall in love with George after reading this.

Free Days with George is now available in hardcover (see Chapters/Indigo and Amazon) and as an eBook (see Kobo).

Check out my recap of the Free Days With George book launch here, and my Q&A with Colin Campbell here!

And now for a giveaway! If you'd like to win a copy of this wonderful book, please enter below. This is a Canada-only giveaway, so I apologize to my international readers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This book was sent to me by Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.

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