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Toulouse Women's International Group

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Next Reading Group Meeting


Venue: Karen Burrough’s house in Garies

Date: Monday 9th April 2018

Time: 2pm

Contact: Karen Burroughs or Joyce Booth

Details: The Personal History of Rachel Dupree by Ann Weisgarber

Reading Group Review – The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

TWIG Reading Group March 2018

‘The Story of Edgar Sawtelle’ the first book by David Wroblewski was published in 2008 and went on to become a best seller. Edgar is a mute but not deaf boy born to Trudy and Gar in Wisconsin U.S.A.
They live on a farm and raise, train then place in homes for a significant amount the ‘Sawtelle’ dogs.
Edgar has his own companion dog ‘Almondine ‘and as he grows older he becomes more involved in the raising and training of the ‘Sawtelle’ dogs.
Life is idyllic but things start to change with the return of the brother of Gar, Claude.
Claude has a somewhat shady past. We learn he sold his share of the farm to his brother some years past.
Edgar’s father dies suddenly when he is alone on the farm with Edgar and Edgar being mute is unable to summon help.
Not long after the death of his father Edgar realises that his mother is having a relationship with Uncle Claude.
This is where it becomes apparent that the story is at least based on Shakespeare’s play Hamlet.
Some of us found this is a problem in that if this is a retelling of Hamlet then we know how it is going to end well in advance of the finish of the book. Others felt it did not alter their enjoyment of the book.
There are a significant amount of pages which concentrate on the dog training aspect. This alienated some but not all of us. There was some debate over whether he had anthropomorphised the dogs or not.
We had various opinions on this book but generally the majority really enjoyed it. The writing was admired, well written almost poetic at times, with beautiful descriptive and evocative passages.
There are several unanswered questions in the book, particularly in the second part of the book not least in the final tragic scene. Is Trudy dead?
Several of us agreed if we could we would love to buy a Sawtelle dog.