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Tanya Mendonsa’s The Book Of Joshua, is a simple and heart-warming tale that will charm you – animal lover or not!
Review by Anne John
I started reading Tanya Mendonsa’s The Book Of Joshua on a flight, not realizing that I was seated next to two Catholic nuns. Soon, the book grabbed their attention and they asked me about it – only to find out that it had nothing really, to do with religion! Joshua, is in fact, a bouncy and energetic cocker spaniel, the apple of the author’s eye and the star of the book.
The book revolves around the author Tanya Mendonsa’s life – which in turn revolves completely around her pets, especially her beloved Joshua; so much so that even her husband seems to be a secondary character. I suppose every dog lover views their pet almost like their own baby; Mendonsa is no different, often referring to them as “the boys”. The book is replete with Joshua’s antics – sometimes adorable and sometime outrageous. But the pampering, the indulgence and not to mention the gourmet food (boeuf bourguignon anyone?) that Mendonsa’s dogs enjoy, makes the phrase “It’s a dog’s life” totally pointless! It’s quite hard not to feel jealous of Joshua and his blissful existence!
Mendonsa has a light and breezy style of writing, peppered with self-deprecating humour: “It is an indisputable fact for dog-lovers that they are nice people – open, generous, creative and unconventional; but our unkinder critics would label these qualities as ‘foolishly trusting’, ‘spendthrift’, ‘lazy’, and ‘not quite all there’, respectively.” The story takes us to different parts of the world – from Paris to Bangalore, Goa and then finally the Nilgiris. It is not a book which is particularly rich in imagery – it doesn’t quite invoke striking visuals of all the locales that are mentioned; but the book cover does make one go “Awww!”
Although I don’t hate dogs, one wouldn’t say that I am an animal lover. For one thing, I love my meat, but more than that I tend to agree with Chandler Bing’s philosophy on dogs, namely: “They are needy, they are jumpy, and you can’t tell what they are thinking, and that scares me a little bit.” Sure, they are cute but the huge responsibility of taking care of another living being simply puts too much pressure on a supremely lazy individual like yours truly. But despite all that, The Book Of Joshua, kindled a tiny spark within me that made me wonder dreamily, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dog?”
Publisher: Harper Collins
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