Dog of War
By Sheila Burnford
(New York Review of Books, Hardcover, 9781590172117, 215pp.)
Publication Date: November 28, 2006
List Price: $17.95*
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Sheila Burnford, the author of The Incredible Journey, offers the spellbinding tale of a small dog caught up in the Second World War, and of the extraordinary life-transforming attachments he forms with the people he encounters in the course of a perilous passage from occupied France to besieged England.
Nameless, Burnford’s hero first turns up as a performing dog, a poodle mix earning his keep as part of a gypsy caravan that is desperately fleeing the Nazi advance. Taken on ship by the Royal Navy, he is given the name of Ria and serves as the scruffy mascot to a boatload of sailors. Marooned in England in the midst of the Blitz, Ria rescues an old woman from the rubble of her bombed house, and finds himself unexpectedly transformed into Bel, the coiffed and pampered companion of her old age.
Bel Ria is an exciting story about a compellingly real, completely believable dog. Readers of all sorts and ages will find in Bel Ria a companion to take to heart.
"From the Hardcover edition."