I SWEAR TO GOD MY HEART IS BREAKING.
This novel is absolutely beautiful and you should pick it up and read it right now! I have been sat crying for the past twenty minutes over this.
Steven Rowley has written a masterpiece in Lily and the Octopus. Rowley perfectly shows what it is like to love a pet so fiercely and how heartbreaking it is when you have to say goodbye. I really loved the octopus metaphor – it’s not something you would immediately think of to represent a tumour, but it fits perfectly with the story and in this novel makes so much sense.
I loved how eloquently Rowley makes a comment on life in general – life is to be lived, and nothing teaches us that better than Lily. Lily’s characterisation is brilliant – as a dachshund owner myself, I couldn’t help laughing at some of Lily’s enthusiastic responses and knowing that yes, that was definitely how a dachshund acted.
Rowley’s humour is brilliant and helps lighten the novel when it needs it, and moves us gently towards the inevitable conclusion. The final chapter in particular I really thought was beautiful. At times the narrative was a bit surreal but this added to Lily’s characterisation as well as showing how emotionally invested owners become with their pets; that they would stop at nothing to protect them.
This is definitely a novel for dog lovers, or anyone who appreciates fine literature, as Rowley connects with pet ownership on such an emotional level that it really makes you appreciate how short life is and how it is to be enjoyed.
I knew when I heard about this novel that it was going to be another Marley and Me, but it was so worth it. A well earned 5/5! I highly recommend this novel as your next read. I don’t have the words to do it justice!