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The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Andrews Cummin

The Hounds of Spring

by Lucy Andrews Cummin

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55. [The Hounds of Spring] - [[Lucy Andrews Cummin]] - 2018
- Acq'd 2018

After a dispute with her (misogynistic) PhD advisor, Poppy has dropped out of her literature PhD program. She has temporarily begun a dog walking service while she decides the next step in her life.

This novel takes place over the course of a day where Poppy's plans include walking her clients' dogs and then accompanying her cherished boyfriend to receive some very stressful lab results.

But Poppy's day is full of unexpected side trips as her clients, friends and family need her in unexpected ways. And Poppy is able to listen with her heart to both dogs and people and not only hear what they need, but act on it.

I'd love to be a friend (and have a friend!) like Poppy.

I just read line this in another of my current reads, [Bird By Bird] by [Anne Lamott] : “My friend Carpenter says we no longer need Chicken Little to tell us the sky is falling., because it already has. The issue now is how to take care of one another. “ p 108

It sums up this book perfectly for me! ( )
  streamsong | Aug 18, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
We could all do worse than to spend our days with dogs. They are so much less complicated than people. I almost always enjoy books with dogs so I was intrigued to read a book set entirely during one day in the life of a dog walker. Lucy Andrews Cummin has created wonderful characters, both canine and human, in her novel, The Hounds of Spring.

Poppy Starkweather was once a candidate for a PhD in literature. Now she walks dogs as she tries to figure out what she wants to do with her life. She's happy in a long-term relationship but not sure she's ready for marriage, at least until she has an idea of where her life should go. She enjoys the dogs she walks and the human beings who own them but this wasn't meant to be her long term job. On the day that the novel covers, she starts her day as usual but things start to spiral out of control as each of the important people in her life need her to be present for them. In juggling her dog commitments and trying to squeeze in the needs of her loved ones, she also has to find the time and the balance to attend to herself. This is not an easy task as her formerly well-organized schedule falls to pieces with each additional thing that creeps into her day. She wants to be with her boyfriend as he hears potentially serious health news at the doctor. She wants to pick her brother up from the airport and take him to her mother's. She wants to take one of her old clients to the shelter to choose a new dog and to the pet store for supplies.

Watching Poppy take care of everyone around her, dog and human, lets the reader see into her nurturing heart while also highlighting her insecurities about her choices and her life. Brief glimpses of the past flash through the narrative, helping to draw a full picture of Poppy. Cummin manages to draw all of her characters with only a few words and yet they are all fully realized. Since the novel is set during the span of one day, it is broken into chapters labelled morning, afternoon, evening, and night, taking Poppy through this unusual twenty-four hours. The writing is spare and lovely and both the dogs and people in Poppy’s life are wonderful to spend time with. Poppy is a gentle character who does a lot of soul searching. People who like quiet, character driven reads will appreciate the beauty, connection, and compassion here and dog lovers will be especially pleased with this slight novel brimming with heart. Definitely worth a read. ( )
1 vote whitreidtan | Jul 24, 2018 |
I am so glad I purchased this book. I very much enjoyed my day in Philadelphia with Poppy as she walked the dogs and interacted with her employers, her significant other, and her family. I am a dog-lover and thought the different personalities of Poppy's dog clients were cleverly described. It was refreshing to read a straightforward story about a young woman who has given up her quest for a doctorate in literature and is still living a full and rewarding life.

The structure was simple-- morning, afternoon, evening, and night--yet there was so much tenderness and compassion, along with many literary references, packed into one day that I will definitely be rereading this mood-lifting book again…and again. Towards the end of the book, Poppy recalls a series of images from her day. Lucy described each of these events in such fresh detail that I felt myself experiencing them almost as if I had been there. That's the kind of book that stays with me and makes me want to return to it. My thanks to fellow LTer, Lucy aka Sibyx, for writing such a meaningful book. ( )
1 vote Donna828 | May 27, 2018 |
Another recent read, one I have to give a shout out for, is a new release written by our very own Sybix, [The Hounds of Spring]. This book is wonderful! The story all takes place in the course of one day as we follow Poppy Starkweather on her dog walker sojourns. Her routine is disrupted by a visit from her brother, a medical visit for her boyfriend, and a call from one of her clients. The clients and their dogs made me laugh and made me cry (and I don't cry when I read!); and the book is filled with literary references because Poppy was en route to getting her PhD in literature before her world fell apart. I was sad to see the book end. Loved it. ( )
  Berly | May 6, 2018 |
[The Hounds of Spring] by [[Lucy Andrews Cummin]]

This slim but substantial novel encompasses one day in the life of Poppy Starkweather, a twenty-something young woman who has abandoned PhD plans and is currently walking dogs and contemplating her next step in life. She lives with a man with whom she is considering marriage and is wondering if her current state of being really lends itself to marriage.

All of the characters are developed nicely and I found myself drawn into the story immediately. I also loved that we get to know the various dogs that Poppy walks as well. The writing feels smooth and natural and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

FYI, [[Lucy Andrews Cummin]] is our own LTer "sybix" whose reading I've followed for quite a while now. I purchased this book on amazon if anyone is interested in acquiring it. ( )
  japaul22 | Apr 23, 2018 |
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An ordinary day becomes complicated for Poppy, who makes her living as a dog walker while she tries to sort out her life following the abandonment of her English dissertation about the contemporary relevance of James Boswell.
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