A romantic tale about a cheating husband who gets to redeem himself by returning to earth as his widowed wife’s new dog.
On the way to tell his doting wife Emily he wants a divorce, Sandy Portman is killed in a car accident. A dapper old man is ready to usher Sandy away to the great unknown (in Sandy’s case it might be oblivion) but instead allows him to make things right for Emily and puts Sandy into the body of a dog, who ends up at the shelter where Emily volunteers. Soon Sandy, now named Einstein, is back at their apartment at the famed Dakota, feeling right at home. The novel, alternating between Emily and Einstein, follows the two on their journeys to become the people (ahem) they are meant to be. Emily is crushed by Sandy’s death, made worse when she finds his journals, which outline the details of his affairs. And to further ruin Emily, her imperious mother-in-law informs her that she must leave the apartment at once—Sandy had never deeded it to her as he had promised. After getting accustomed to life as a dog, Einstein must make everything right, no easy task when all you have to work with are paws and a bark. As Einstein finds ways to keep Emily at their apartment, Emily has to contend with her flighty sister Jordan, who’s temporarily moved in and is writing a memoir about their mother, a notorious figure in the women’s movement. The publishing house Emily works for is buying the book, but now Emily’s career may be on the line as Jordan doesn’t seem to be doing any writing, just bringing strange men home in the middle of the night. And then there’s gentle, handsome, ex–Navy Seal Max, who lives next door and is always there to pick Emily up when she falls. In the end, though, it is a love story between Emily and Einstein (she suspects it is Sandy underneath the scruff).
A comic charmer of surprising depth.