Book Review-The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances-Ellen Cooney | Miki's Hope

Book Review-The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances-Ellen Cooney

Monday, July 7, 2014

I was lucky enough to receive a pre publication ARC of this heart warming book which should be out by August 5 2014. It is the story of throwaways--not just the dogs and how they all heal over time at the Mountaintop School for Dogs.

Evie, a recovering drug addict does not really know what to do with her life-she has no real ambitions and nothing ever seems to go right for her. When she sees an ad in the paper for trainees-she immediately applies. She is accepted into the program and stays at the lodge with the "Warden" who really doesn't like anyone-or so it seems. She meets another of the staff-a young boy-who was taken in by the Sanctuary.

Evie hasn't exactly told the truth on her application-she has never even owned a dog! The dogs at the Sanctuary are not the usual -these dogs have problems and can't be adoptable until those problems are fixed--or not. The first few weeks at the lodge Evie begins to meet these dogs-dogs she is going to have to train! She gets on the computer and reads everything she can. She soon realizes that each dog is different and needs different training methods and she has to develop a whole lot of patience.

When she is finally invited to come up the mountain to the sanctuary and begin her training she breathes a sigh of relief-Evie you see has little to no self confidence. She is given some dogs to train and through innovative measures does get them better trained (when they want to be) then they were before.

Everyone at the Sanctuary needs healing--all in their own time. I know you will enjoy this book except perhaps for the ways humans cause pain to animals (but not at the Sanctuary!). I definitely give this book a 5 Star rating.

About the Book: (from Amazon)

The Sanctuary. High up on the mountain, the Sanctuary is a place of refuge. It is a place where humans save dogs, who, in turn, save the humans. It is a place where the past does not exist, where hopelessness is chased away, where the future hasn’t been written, where orphans and strays can begin to imagine a new meaning for “family.”

Evie is making her way to the Sanctuary. She has lied to gain entry. She has pretended to know more than she does about dogs, but she is learning fast. Once the indomitable Mrs. Auberchon lets her pass, she will find her way. Like the racing greyhound who refuses to move, the golden retriever who returns to his job as the Sanctuary’s butler every time he’s adopted, and the Rottweiler who’s a hopeless candidate for search-and-rescue, Evie comes from a troubled past. But as they all learn, no one should stay prisoner to a life she didn’t choose.

This is the story of two women and a whole pack of dogs who, having lost their way in the world, find a place at a training school—and radical rescue center—called the Sanctuary. It is a story of strays and rescues, kidnappings and homecomings, moving on and holding on and letting go. And it is, ultimately, a moving and hilarious chronicle of the ways in which humans and canines help each other find new lives, new selves, and new hope.

Pre-order this book here

About the Author: (from Amazon)

Ellen Cooney is the author of eight novels and stories published in The New Yorker and many literary journals. She taught creative writing for over twenty-five years, most recently in the Writing Program at MIT and the Extension School at Harvard. A native of Massachusetts, she now lives on the coast of Maine. Her new novel,"The Mountaintop School For Dogs And Other Second Chances," about a young woman who impulsively decides to become a dog trainer, when she doesn't know anything about animals, will be published in August by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. To find out more, visit


I received an ARC for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own honest opinions. For more information please check my Disclosure Statement. Our giveaways are in no way sponsored or promoted by Facebook.


JLT said...

This sound like a good read. My niece loves dogs and I think she would enjoy this book. Thanks for the review!

Kero Pinkihan said...

such a heartwarming story. i know a friend who needs to read more about second chances. This book when it comes out will be a perfect present for her

ReviewsSheRote said...

I love dogs and hearing about second chances looks like another one to go one my summer reading list.

Czjai said...

I have a feeling this book will make me shed a few tears. I love dogs, but never got around to getting a new one after my dog passed away two years ago.

Unknown said...

Seems like a sweet book, one I would need my tissues for.

Lisa Weidknecht said...

Oh, I totally must read this one! Thanks!

jaime said...

This sounds like a great read. I'm quickly getting through my summer books. I'll have to check this one out next month!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review


Unknown said...

Oh, I'm an animal lover, so I'm sure I would enjoy this book! I like the author's pic, too :)

Jenn said...

Seems like a very great read, I know a few people that would enjoy it.Going to add it to my list next month and pass it on.

Cathy Mini said...

I love that it's perfect for dog lovers! I probably would read anything about dogs :D

valmg @ Mom Knows It All said...

Sounds like an interesting mix of humor, insight and thought provoking story. I wish I had more time to read!

Unknown said...

This sounds like a good book for book club. Seems like it would be good discussion material.

Stacey - Seattle Mom Blog said...

I used to work at a training school for dogs. This sounds like a wonderful read... adding it to my list!

Unknown said...

Sounds like a really emotional books. I'm sure it's interesting to read how Evie manages to train the dogs.

mail4rosey said...

I saw this on Facebook today and was impressed. I bet I'd be really attached to the main character. :)

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