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Church of the Dog by Kaya McLaren

Church of the Dog

by Kaya McLaren

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636188,983 (3.98)1



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I'm very glad I used the audio book format to "read" Kaya McLaren's Church of the Dog. The narration aspect allowed me to follow the story line and character development with ease. I quickly became attached to the various voices and, by the time the final page was read, I felt a sense of kinship with each and every one.

This is a book about life, loss, love, belief systems and family - with more than a bit of "free-spirit(edness)" tossed into the mix. I didn't come across a single "ho-hum" moment as I read. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself "rewinding" - more than once - anxious to revisit thought-provoking sections of Ms. McLaren's unique book. I laughed out loud and I cried; it was very easy for me to identify with many of the life experiences the author portrayed with such clarity.

Four stars - only because of what I felt was an "abrupt" ending. I was deep into an evolving aspect of the story line . . only to find that the book had come to an end!

Church of the Dog is a book that will - in one way or another - speak to everyone who reads it and I highly recommend that you do! ( )
  idajo | May 8, 2016 |
This is a wonderful read... it was for me anyway... a very tender story about relationships & beliefs... which are presented openly & honestly throughout the book... none of them are what you usually hear or 'are supposed to hear' but instead are real genuine emotions from real & honest people.

It is Kaya's first book so I guess I am after 'the story' rather that Pulitzer material... i felt that she conveyed her story well... sure there might be a couple of holes or seemingly unbelievable parts but i have found those in acclaimed author's books as well...

that is the plus that Kaya has here... for me she made it all believable regardless of how far fetched some ideas might have been, at least to some anyway...

personally, i don't find any ideas in the book 'hard to believe' nor 'far-fetched' but rather very plausible & real.... Kaya made it seem as though the characters knew someone was 'listening' (almost as if they knew that I was there)... it made the story very real... very believable ... and very profound

( )
  SpiritedTruthSeeker | Aug 5, 2014 |
Eccentric, warm, hard to put down, but also with some character contradictions, particularly with Mara. Worthwhile reading for the goodness of friends and family supporting one another. ( )
  bookwren | Apr 10, 2014 |
Deals with themes of death, family, dreams, deal with conflict, God.
Not as good as [b:On the Divinity of Second Chances|666622|On The Divinity Of Second Chances|Kaya McLaren|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1176931191s/666622.jpg|652674] by the same author, but that's possibly to her credit, since Church of the Dog was written first. This book also has multiple narrators, though the effect was not as strong. More of a literary crutch than asset here. A non-traditional easy to read book, except for the parts that made me cry because they hit a personal note (they are sad in their own right, too). A new "plot twist" is added at the end almost like a post script/epilogue that I don't think had to be there, but I see how it does resolve some points of the story.
My least favourite part of the book is the prominence of dreams and how they factor too heavily into the plot. Too much "romance" (in the Shakespearean sense) for me.
Otherwise a nice read, as long as you don't dwell on its faults (like character inconsistencies in Mara). ( )
  LDVoorberg | Apr 7, 2013 |
Church of the Dog
by Kaya McLaren

This 225 page novel was an endearing and magical read about love, life and most of all about people and how the power of spirit can work miracles. I found the rotating first person style of the author to be a little unsettling at first, but when I got used to it I was amazed cause it brought a 3 dimensional quality to the book I hadn't expected.

The special thing about this story was that it addressed spiritual principles in a very pleasing an indirect way, kind of like taking your medicine with the proverbial spoonful of sugar. Another helpful feature of this sweetie was the suggested book study questions at the end. The gifted heroine of this eye-opening tale made me ever mindful of the pleasure, pain and sense of duty that comes with being a light worker. I would recommend this poignant buddy to anyone who needs or want some feel good energy in their life. Thanks Kaya, I got it.

Love & Light,

Riki Frahmann ( )
  biunicorn | Mar 14, 2012 |
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To Gram (Evelyn Green), my faith-keeper
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My car is packed with boxes and bags, full of my hopes and dreams and my disappointments as I leave this man.
... my belief that no one really owns the land. They only agree legally to take care of it. Some of them are doing a mighty poor job, I might add.
In "A Conversation with Kaya McLaren" she says: Education in the United States is tricky. I think there are few, if any, other places in the world where an educational system accommodates such a wide spectrum of cultures, values, and ability levels. Most educational systems in the world don't strive to educate everybody. Standardized testing has become paramount in our systems, and yes, that does break my heart sometimes. There are so many strengths a person can embody which are not strengths that can be measured and represented with a numerical value./The bigger question to me is, "Is our culture failing to nurture children?" I would like to see an end to the glamorization of violence in our culture reflected in the media. I would like to see a slower pace for our children, where they have time to make up their own games, use their imagination, and explore nature instead of going from one structured activity to another. I would like to see a culture for chlidren that downplayed competition and empasized cooperation. Maybe by overemphasizing competition, we actually teach children to be cruel to others and themselves. I don't know. I would like a culture for children where it is believed that any child who is doing their best is succeeding. I would like to see a culture for chlidren that challenged them to create their own entertainment rather than rely on the latest gadget for it. How do we tell our children that they have enough and they are enough and that they're beautiful, when thousands of commercials a week, their peers, our standardized tests, and sometimes coaches tell them the opposite?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143113429, Paperback)

An unforgettable debut novel about finding a home, a safe haven, and family

Deep in Oregon farm country, Edith and Earl McRae are looking down the barrel of their fiftieth anniversary with none of the joy such a milestone should hold. Instead, they are stuck in a past that holds them to heartbreak and tragedy. Enter the mysterious and ever-so-slightly magical Mara O’Shaunessey who appears on their ranch with the power to mend long broken fences and show them how to recognize the enchantment of their everyday lives. Gracefully capturing the strange alchemy of people and places, Kaya McLaren’s story of redemption and rediscovery will inspire readers to find the magic and power in every day shared with the people they love.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:33 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Edith and Earl McRae are about to share their fiftieth anniversary with none of the joy such a milestone should hold. Instead, they are stuck in a past that holds them to heartbreak and tragedy until the mysterious and ever-so-slightly magical Mara O'Shaunessey who appears on their Oregon ranch with the power to mend long broken fences and show them how to recognize the enchantment of their everyday lives.… (more)

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