A Man of His Own

By Susan Wilson

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
eko prasetyo
Susan Wilson is very insightful! She knows people and dogs!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
parsa fatehi
This book was a wonderful book. I enjoyed it very much.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
david choi
I have had several German Shepherds so always love to read a book with a German Shepherd in it. Of course some parts did make me cry. I would not have it any other way though.
The Man Who Loved Dogs: A Novel :: The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog :: The Silver Chair (The Chronicles of Narnia - Book 6) by C. S. Lewis (2002-07-01) :: Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs - Roscoe Riley Rules #1 :: and a Million Miles on the Last Hope Highway - Thirty Thousand Dogs
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pauly
Fabulous book. It made me remember our family Doberman from my childhood who had been in the K9 corp in World War II. He was trained exactly the same way. I cried at the end.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
josh summers
great book i did cry at the end.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
vasu kanna
It follows a general pattern like her other dog books. But, she has different breeds in each book which I w=enjoy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anil
Excellent read. Everyone should have such a dog,
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rob liz
A wonderful touching book about 2 men and the dog they loved.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andrea arbogast
another Wilson winner
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andreana drencheva
Wonderful Book, great storyline and excellent building. I dog lovers find!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dina thabit
I loved this book as much as One Good Dog and can not wait to read another book by this author.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ruby
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
suzie
Looking forward to her other books. As a dog lover, this book really held my interest.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gretchen dietmeyer
Loved this book, very well written, surprised how much I enjoyed this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dwayne
I love a story with a dog in it, ecspecially German Shepherds!!! Wonderful story!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
robyn
Wonderful book. Her other books about dogs are also wonderful. I really enjoyed them all.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sara diane
Loved, loved, loved this book! Yes, you will cry! Very moving, and very well written!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zahra ahmadian
Great story about a special dog who helps heal emotional wounds and bring people together.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephanie williams
Truly enjoyable story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
syed umr iftikhar ahmed
Well written and insightful story. Character development for both canine and human animals is very well done. Loved it and didn't want it to end.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
gremlin
Choppy style. Plot difficult to believe. Characters were cliche. Disappointing conclusion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
neely
nice
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
judie
Just excellent
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissa vogt
good book, kept me reading long after I should have put it down.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
huong
A great book with believable characters. It was such a pleasure to read an honest story about believable characters who actually acted with HONOR instead of self-centeredness. What a pleasant change. I had not previously read anything by this author but I will absolutely be buying more of Susan Wilson's books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bev bjorklund
A touching story for any dog (or animal) lover. This book speaks to the human condition and the lasting imprint that our furry family members leave on our heart and soul. The Dog That Danced, same author, is also a heart rendering and touching story. I couldn't put either book down once I started reading them.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nando
I couldn't wait to read this book, and it was well worth the wait!! susan Wilson has once again, delivered a thoughtful, kind, and sweet story...........AND it has a wonder-dog!!!!! snuggle up, get comfortable, and enjoy this book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kattmd
Good dog story and love story as well. Very entertaining.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nioka
Book is in excellent condition at a great price
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alok kumar
One of her best books yet , I would recommend this book t o any one who loves animals.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stephanie sun
Love the story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
thebleras
This author has the incredible talent of making you care for all the parties involved. You think you know how you want it to end but are surprised how wrong you are. A beautiful story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anila
Again a great book. This touches on so many subjects and shows a dogs true devotion to his people. I cried, laughed and just enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to everyone of all ages who like dogs.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sean dashner
Really enjoyed the book. Good one for dog lovers or any pet lover. I really like this author. I've read her other books and they're all good.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
colin henry
This book's characters, story line, undercurrents and touch of history all ocmbine to make this a heartwarming story, with PAX being the hero!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mrinal
If you treasure your relationship with a dog, this will give you more to cherish. I
don't know whether I could be this selfless and generous with my best friend if asked,
but I sure hope I could rise to the challenge. Read this story, you wont be sorry!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lennis
Heartwarming, tears and the
bringing back memories of our own beloved dogs with the un changing devotion to us an our love one's.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aliciathecat
Great story. I like the perspective from the human point of view and the dog's as well. Beautifully written story of love for a dog and his humans.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jason pettus
You feel so connected to these characters, it is a great story, one that you can't put down. This was just as good as the other two dog stories of hers that I have read. Looking forward to the next one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily gilstrap
Her books are wonderful!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tarek zahran
I enjoyed the interaction of the dog and people. Could of used a bit more personification. Makes a heart warming read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
caryn
I really enjoyed this book. Highly recommened it especially if you are a dog lover!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
diana kulaczkowskey
This was for monthly book club - It was a great discussion that day with only about 5 people there.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
geeta
Susan Wilson does another great job of story telling. I have read three of her books and recommended all of them to my friends.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jessica yetter
I usually don't finish the books I buy but this one definitely kept me interested.,
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sharmi de silva
I just loved the story. Just think of all the guys that can relate to this. Seems like it could be true. A very good ending, also!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
earline cowan
Love her books. Anyone who has ever loved a dog will love her books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mulligan
The characters and story-line captivated me immediately. Wilson knows, understand dogs and their relationships with people. I have my fourth dog so know what I'm talking about.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
adrienna
Since we love animals and my husband has 2 prosthetics, the book
really struck a cord with me. What a beautiful book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kristine bruneau
A story for anyone who has ever had a dog. Touching, fun and of course always a little sadness thrown in. A very enjoyable read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ed timek
I love Susan Wilson's books!! She not only has a wonderful dog character, but also the humans are believable. She perfectly depicts how a human can be healed and cared for by the dog.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer morris cummings
Powerful story of man and dog, and the meaning of family , fidelity and recovery from loss,; emotional roller coaster ride through World War 2 and its consequences
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
drea101
Slow
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
kimberly rousseau
Really liked it and bought one for a friend.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
darryl
Rick was a difficult character to like. It was impossible to be happy for the choices that others made. I suppose it there had not been such a jump through the years, I might have been more caring in my opinion of Rick. To me he remained a bitter man.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
aidyn k
This book was simultaneously heart warming and heart wrenching. I'm into fairy tale happy endings in novels these days, which is the only reason why I didn't give this book 5 stars. The way the author tells the story from the perspectives of all the main characters is compelling and gripping. I tried to put the novel down when I felt that the plot was going to a sad place but I couldn't walk away from it. Instead I cheated and skipped around until I got to the end to find out how it ended. I know; I'm a punk I couldn't handle not knowing where the story would end. But then I still had to pick it up and read through the entire book even though I knew how it would end. I think I'm addicted to Susan Wilson novels. I had the same experience with one of her other books and swore I'd not read another, but I couldn't help myself when I saw this one. And,before writing this review I put two more of her books in my cart. Is there a Susan Wilson novels anonymous someplace?!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brenda g
It's really hard not to do a book report when a book is as good as this one is. As Vine reviewers we are not just to state what you can read about in the product description, we are to share our experiences and thoughts. I loved this book it has every element of my favorite book. The writting is excellent I was captured from the first page. I love historical fiction and this one delivers with romance, suspence, mystery, humor. You hear the thoughts of a dog named Pax who during one part of his life is in the K-9 Corp in WII. There are 3 main characters in his life who tell the story as well. It has some shocking moments that make you gasp as you see it coming only a few words of warning. That is a 5 star book to me when everything is not predictable.

The book doesn't have bad language which is another 5 stars in my book. I felt like the people are real and when not reading found myself wondering how they are doing that is good writing when you are so drawn in you think of the characters as real people.

If you like WWII settings and the telling of how everyone in the United States did "thier bit" for the war effort you will enjoy this book. I loved thinking about our country pulling together. There are many heart warming moments along with sadness. I found the emotions of the characters vary believable. I loved how the dog thinks and how he worked so hard during the bad post war times to help those he loves.

This is a must read you will not be sorry.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
matt burress
Susan Wilson’s novel, A Man of His Own, delves into a dog’s world and shows the powerful connection between dog and man.

Rick Stanton is out with his fellow baseball players, relaxing at a neighborhood tavern. He steps outside and a little stray pup, apparently a German shepherd mix, appears out of the darkness. The two quickly become attached. The pup adopts Rick and enjoys having this young bachelor all to himself.

When Francesca comes into their lives, it isn’t love at first sight for the dog, Pax, but once Francesca and Rick are married, he accepts her as family, though the dog still treasures the time when he has Rick to himself.

Rick’s ambition as a baseball pitcher for the majors is put on hold when he’s drafted into the Army and sent to Europe. Francesca and Pax sadly adjust to Rick’s absence. She treasures Pax now–he’s her connection to Rick.

As World War II escalates, the government is calling for war dogs, smart, sturdy dogs that could be trained to help men in the battlefield. Although it’s a tough decision, Francesca, with Rick’s written permission, volunteers Pax into the K-9 Corps.

At first Pax is reluctant to respond to his new master’s commands. But Keller Nicholson’s gentle persuasion wins the dog’s heart and the two of them become an inseparable team, forming a strong and profound bond.

The agreement is that after service, war dogs will be returned to their original owners, but Keller has become so attached to Pax that he can’t bear to give him back. In the meantime, Rick has returned home with serious, life-altering injuries.

Keller goes to Rick and Francesca’s home to ask their permission to keep Pax, but he finds a difficult situation. Rick’s health needs are more than Francesca can physically cope with. The three of them form an arrangement where Keller will be Rick’s live-in aide. Pax now has all his loved ones in one place and he manages to serve his three humans.

Complications set in. Rick’s injuries are creating severe depression. An attraction between Keller and Francesca can’t be denied. As his three people struggle with feelings they can’t control, Pax, with his unconditional love and loyalty, may be their only hope.

A Man of His Own is an extraordinary novel, a captivating story about the bond between dog and human, love and loyalty, duty and sacrifice.

For more information about the author, visit http://www.susanwilsonwrites.com/
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nidhi
The sweet and heartwarming story of a remarkable dog who touches three people's lives, Susan Wilson's A Man of His Own is sure to be a hit with animal lovers.

Rescued as stray when he was just eight weeks old by aspiring baseball pitcher Rick Stanton, Pax is a beloved family pet that is a source of comfort to his wife, Francesca, while Rick is on the road during baseball season and after Rick is drafted into service during WW II. But the most important role of Pax's life comes when he becomes a part of the Dogs for Defense program and he fully captures the heart of his trainer, Keller Nicholson. Reluctant to return Pax to the Stantons after both he and Pax have been released from service, Keller accepts Stantons' offer to become Rick's caregiver. With Pax as the heart and soul of their unusual family, Rick grows increasingly despondent as he struggles to overcome his debilitating injuries while Keller and Francesca are confronted with an unexpected attraction to one another.

A Man of His Own spans the years leading up to, during and after World War II. Beginning with Rick's rise from the minor leagues to the majors, his early years of marriage to Francesca and a brief snapshot of his wartime service, the majority of the novel takes place after Rick and Keller have returned home from the war. Rick's struggles to deal with his catastrophic life-altering and career ending injuries are heartbreaking and he finds it impossible to confide his guilt over his role in the loss of his comrades in arms. Francesca is still deeply in love with Rick, but she is growing increasingly frustrated with his inability to adapt to his new circumstances. For the first time in his life Keller experiences unconditional love when he is paired with Pax and while he initially agrees to stay because he cannot bear to be separated from him, Keller soon finds himself falling in love with Francesca while caring for Rick. But the best part of the story is Pax and his unwavering love and loyalty to the humans in his life and his uncanny ability to recognize and fulfill all of their different needs.

Told in present tense from all of the characters' (including Pax) perspectives, A Man of His Own is an engrossing story of love and devotion that unfolds at a leisurely pace. Susan Wilson keeps readers guessing exactly how this engaging and emotional novel will end. A lovely epilogue ties up all of the loose ends and brings this beautiful tale to a bit of a teary finish. An all around wonderfully unique story that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend.

I received a complimentary copy for review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sue neeley
An abandoned puppy, Pax finds a home with Rick, an aspiring big league pitcher. Their bond is strong and instantaneous. Then comes Francesca. Rick sees her at the ball game, asks her out, and after they've known each other for a week, asks her to marry him. Pax approves, and the threesome seem on the verge of realizing their hearts desires. Rick will be in the Braves starting line-up. They're trying for a baby, and Pax has a family to take care of.

WWII intervenes. Rick is called up. Francesca takes a wartime job in a wire-making plant, but are they doing enough? Francesca sees an ad for the K-9 corps that trains dogs for the military. After much soul searching, they enlist Pax.

He is an unwilling recruit until Keller Nicholson, an abused boy, bonds with him. They become an unbeatable team and go to Europe: Pax as a scout, Keller as his handler. With the war over, things are different. Rick is badly wounded. His dream of being a major league pitcher and Francesca's of having a child are dead. Keller retrains Pax to be a family pet, but doesn't want to give him up, neither do Rick and Francesca. So starts the heart-warming -- heart-breaking story of three people adjusting to their new life and the end of their dreams.

I loved this book and highly recommend it. Pax, the wonder dog, is almost too good to be true, but having had dogs, I know it's possible. The adjustments the other three make, and have to make, keep you routing for them and can leave you in tears.

If you love dog stories, or about people finding their way out of tragedy, you'll love this book.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katherine coble
Rick Stanton was a promising professional baseball player with dreams of playing in the major leagues and starting a family with his young wife, Francesca, when World War II changed everything. Rick returns from the war with his body broken and his dreams shattered. But it was not just body and spirit he sacrificed for the war. He and Francesca volunteered their beloved dog, Pax, for the Army’s K-9 Corp, not knowing if they’d ever see him again.
Keller Nicholson is the soldier who fought the war with Pax by his side, and the two have the kind of profound bond that can only be forged in war. Pax is the closest Keller has to a sense of family, and he can’t bear the thought of returning him to the Stantons. But Rick and Francesca refuse to give him up. Instead, an arrangement is made: Keller will work as Rick’s live-in aide. And thus an unlikely family is formed, with steadfast Pax at the center. As they try to build a new life out of the ashes, Keller and Francesca struggle to ignore their growing attraction to each other, and Rick, believing that he can no longer give Francesca what she needs and wants, quietly plans a way out.
All three of them need healing. All three of them are lost. Pax, with his unconditional love and unwavering loyalty, may be the only one who can guide them home.

Susan Wilson always writes such wonderful fantastic stories about man's best friend. The fabulous dog species. And A Man of his Own is nothing short of spectacular. I am not one for baseball but this story is more than that. I think dogs really heal a large part of something, they know when someone doesn't feel well or is sad. Dogs are amazing. Although it seems like a bit of a long book, especially about a dog, I promise it will go by quickly. Enjoy!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
violetoutburst
Susan Wilson's "A Man of His Own" is so deeply satisfying at so many levels, I hardly know where to start lavishing my praise. At the beginning, Wilson presents the plight of abandoned and neglected animals with an economy and sensitivity that is truly breathtaking. From there, the human characters are introduced with charm and balance. One thing which for me defines the skill of the author is the way she moves flawlessly from "voice to voice", changing tense and person in a way that makes it clear whose perspective being presented, yet somehow never seeming contrived. Especially wonderful, I think, is the way in which Susan brings us the point of view of the dog Pax without undue anthropomorphism. These segments are so brilliantly done that the only word I can think of is "awesome".

Then there is the development of the "war stories" of Rick, Keller and Pax, and Francesca's "war work" in the wire factory. Told with an eye to detail and yet a blessed avoidance of overemphasis on the "gore and mayhem", these are vignette masterpieces. They move the story rapidly and effortlessly to the crises.

Finally, of course, there is the depth and dynamic tension of the main part of the story, in which the human and canine characters strive to return to civilian reality and restructure their lives into a viable future for all. For me, Wilson's presentation of this aspect of the story is so perfectly delineated that I found it completely absorbing. Likewise, I found the resolution of the conflicts so true to the meaning of life and love that I believe the author is absolutely "right on". This book is much more than either a "war story" or a "dog story"; I would definitely put it high up on my short list of exceptionally meaningful books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
olivia beckett
Pax may have started life as an ordinary dog but the two distinct lives he led, the lives he saved and the people who loved him and he them made him one extraordinary canine.
Rick Stanton had three great loves in his life and almost lost all three because of WWII.
Just as his big break as an aspiring albeit aging professional baseball player happened war broke out and he left his wife, Francesca and his dog, Pax to serve his country.
Francesca sent her husband and her dog off to war, she's grateful to have her husband home and alive and when she learns that Pax made it out alive as well she's hoping the reunion between man and dog produces miracles she's been unable to create.
Orphaned and unwanted as a young boy Keller Nicholson's solitary existence ended the day he was paired up with Pax in the war dogs program.
He has Pax to thank for surviving the war and when it's time to send Pax home he decides to deliver him personally and hopefully leave with him again.
But who will win and who will loose when tragedy and fate bring these lives together?

Susan Wilson has outdone herself with this incredibly poignant story about loss, courage and the power of love. She spotlights the WWII war dogs program by telling the before, during and after story of not just this very special dog but also his people. Her narrative will bring the horrors and joys of her tale to life, and will let readers visualize a time of battlefields, big bands and of a country united in the efforts of war and the aftermath. Her special talent in giving voice to her dogs is an amazing feat and when she entwines that voice with those of her human characters it's a symphony in perfect pitch. Her star characters all shine each in his or her own unique way, all play their parts to perfection and readers will wish just one more chapter when the tale ends.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maryjane
What a truly unique story! A Man of His Own is told from the perspective of Rick and Francesca, Keller, and Pax. The Unique part, Pax is a dog, and I know it sounds like the making of a cheesy book, but it was a very well written thoughtful book.

Rick, poised to be a Major League Baseball pitcher, finds Pax...cold, hungry and in need of a human to love him. Rick and Pax become inseparable from that moment on...the bond between dog and man is incredible. Pax loves his human and will do anything for him.
Francesca and Rick fall in love, to the confusion of Pax, but eventually the three come a family and the unthinkable happens....war breaks their little family apart.

Everyone has to do their part. Francesca works, Rick goes off to war, and even Pax becomes a dog of war. Enter Keller. Keller becomes Pax's handler in the war and the two depend on each other for survival. After the war is over it is time for everyone to come together, and for lives to be sorted out, and futures to be settled....and you thought the war would be the hard part!

I have not spoiled anything since it is all in the back of the book. The everyday struggles, the thoughts, the pain of war, the aftermath...that is what the book is about. This author writes beautifully and I love how she incorporates pax in this book. This will not be the last book I read by this author.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kevia
This is an enjoyable, pleasant read revolving around genuinely good characters and one quite remarkable dog. Told in alternating perspectives - Pax, the German Shepherd-mix, Rick, the ballplayer, Francesca his wife, and Keller, a young man turning his life around - that Wilson manages to balance quite well, this is an entertaining read. Pax's voice may not be the most convincing canine voice, but he is certainly a lovable character. With a WWII backdrop, each characters "does their part" for the war effort - even Pax joins up!

The latter half of the novel revolves around the aftermath of the war. None of the characters are the same after their experiences and their love of Pax binds them to each other. It is a touching story and though it may evoke some tears, overall, it's an uplifting story. The verb tense flits about a little, but otherwise, it's an engrossing and fast-paced novel. I have only read one of Wilson's other novels, One Good Dog, but this one feels a lot more memorable. The details of the historical setting really adds to the storyline and it feels well-researched. I look forward to Wilson's next dogcentric novel!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
arkitek
This story of love between three humans and a canine is a most intriguing read. Each segment is written in first person by each of the humans and the dog. Pax goes from being a family dog to a member of the WWII Army K-9 Corps, then back to a family dog. The author writes the dog's point of view with significant insight (well, as much as human can, I guess!).

Pax is loyal to all his masters but conflicted as to how respond to them living in the same house. Understandable as they are also unsure as to how respond. His first master returns from the war paralyzed from the waist down and quite depressed. His second master loves her husband but can't persuade him of that. His third master doesn't want to leave Pac and agrees to stay. How will they all adjust to this new and precarious living situation?

I liked the unusual storyline. Well written. There is only a few curse words and some implications of intimate situations but overall a clean story. Could be rated PG-13.

Good read but a bit more melancholy than my usual choice, thus four stars instead of five.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
a bookzilla
This is a wonderful story about a rescued puppy named Pax and his family of 3. Rick is a baseball player that rescues a puppy one night not knowing that Pax will return the favor; over and over. Pax was very happy with his pack of Rick and himself than Rick maarries Francesca and they finally settle into a family. Rick leaves Francesca and Pax to serve during WW2, and Francesca struggles to decide if she should donate Pax to the Army, but she does her duty again. Pax is trained with Keller, an orphan that has not had a family since he was 5 until now. They are constant working companions until they are wounded and return to the U.S. Keller can not think of life without Pax but he must return him to his original family. Due to rick's injuries life has changed for everyone. An agreement is reached between Rick, Francesca, and Keller so that they can help each other and remain with Pax.

This is a story of different types love, the horrors of war and loss. A must read for everyone, not just dog lovers.

Highly recommend!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lizette
Always open to reading about special dogs, this was my first Susan Wilson novel.

Stories that make you laugh, pull at your heartstrings, amaze and leave you just feeling so out of the ordinary day…into the day and soul of sweet dogs…are rare finds.

‘A Man of his Own’ touched upon every thing you would wish to be seamlessly incorporated.

There were dreams of a young baseball player, a pet named PAX, childhood of an orphan, a romance, future plans, World War II, off to war, two men, one dog, a wife, injuries, rehabilitation, strength, loyalty, commitment…and so much more.

The main characters including PAX were real. Emotions of all of the key players were expressed with insight and compassion.

A story that makes you understand and hearten to the goodness that can prevail, despite all odds…’A Man of his Own’ was so well done!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
seth hagen
Wow! This book made me cry real tears and even though I’m angry at how it ended, I know the writer was being true to the characters. Susan Wilson gets dogs or at least she gets dogs the way I do. Two big themes are going on in this book and the writer really makes them work together. First, she’s telling you about war dogs and how war affects people through the lives of three people and one dog. Well done. Then she’s telling the story about how someone recovers from something so horrible that they shouldn’t recover. You don’t expect the ending of this book, but it works, and it’s good and it’s right or at least realistic. This will easily be one of my favorite books of 2015. You don’t have to be a dog lover to like Susan Wilson, but if you are a dog lover, a real one not the kind who sees dogs as a personal accessory, I promise you’ll love this book. You’ll love this writer.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
mark christie
Although the title suggests a tale of gay romance, this novel is actually a love story between man and man's best friend (a dog). Actually, it more of a menage a trois between a dog and two men. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

We've all heard of Rosie the Riveter and women's efforts in America during WWII while men went off to war, but how many of us have heard of Dogs for Defense? After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US military asked pet owners to donate their pet dogs to the war effort; the program was called Dogs for Defense. The dogs were trained and used for guard and patrol duties. A MAN OF HIS OWN is a story about Pax, a German Shepherd who is rescued by Rick, who is later drafted into the war. Learning of the Dogs for Defense program, Pax is enlisted by Rick's wife. "Anyone who had ever loved a dog wouldn't easily give up that dog to war; but war was their life now." In the war, Pax ends up bonding with the man/soldier who trained him. Post-war is where the tension starts. Does Pax return to his loving family? Or does he go with the man with whom he fought on the frontlines?

The book is classified as "Contemporary Women's Fiction" -- better known as "chick lit" -- but, to me, it's makes a better YA book than a lot of that crap out there today. Teens could learn something from reading this book, unlike books about vampires or zombies. If rated, this book would be PG, yet its appeal could be to adults or young adults (male or female).

This is the first writing I've read from Susan Wilson, and I must say that there are way too many different points of view within the confines of one book. The book is in need of some serious editing to provide one consistent, fluid viewpoint. As it stands, the text feels very scattered and inconsistent. First there's the viewpoint of Pax, the dog. Then the first person viewpoint of Rick, his owner. Then the first person viewpoint of Francesca, Rick's future wife. Later, there's the third person viewpoint of Keller, the other man who enlists in the war and trains Pax. Then back to a first person viewpoint from Francesca. Then a third person viewpoint from Rick. And so on and so on and so on... It makes for sloppy, unpolished, unprofessional writing when your reader can't tell whose viewpoint it is from chapter to chapter until they're into the second or third paragraph of a new chapter. By the time you do figure it out, it just feels amateurish and detracts from the point of the story. Having one solid (even omniscient) viewpoint would make this a stronger novel.

All in all, I loved the subject matter of this novel, even though I wasn't impressed by the changing viewpoints or that the characters weren't as fleshed out as I would have liked them to be. As it stands, they weren't all likeable enough to enjoy how the author chose to wrap everything up in the end.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
overl0rd
This book is really a love story. A story of a dog who loved the man who rescued him as a puppy. A young man who was a major league ball player with a lovely wife when he left it all behind and went to war.Soon the dog went to war and became a companion to another young man. In the course of World War II, all three were wounded and returned to the United States. The dog ,Pax, was devoted to his wartime companion and had saved his life, The ball player would never play again but he wanted his beloved dog back. He came home from the war physically and mentally devastated with his devoted wife unable to pull him out of the depths of his loss. Only Pax could raise his spirits and calm his fears. The story of how this dog was the center of a healing circle for these humans is so true to life and so inspiring. It was a very good read!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
patsy ticknor
Love triangles are quite common subjects for novels, but I have never read one like this. While a more usual triangle also threatens in this novel, the primary one involves two men and the dog, Pax. Rick is Pax's original owner, but while Rick's in the service during WWII, his wife enlists Pax as a K-9 and Pax goes through two years fighting at the side of soldier Keller. Thus both men feel they are entitled to keep Pax and an unusual solution is arranged.

As other reviewers have noted, this isn't really a dog story. The dog is the catalyst, but this is a deep and involving story told from the viewpoints of the two men, the first person viewpoint of Rick's wife, and of Pax, the dog himself. So you don't have to be a dog lover to love the book, but if you are a dog lover, you will quite naturally love the book. Very highly recommended.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
atla
Way too predictable and maudlin. Come on, the author expects us to believe that this once "macho man" refuses to even try to learn to use his left hand after losing his right. Story started out going somewhere, then, "bam--boring, tedious, unbelievable. The "doormat" of a wife should have dealt Rick some "tough love", instead of enabling his self-pity. Skip this one -- "Dog Who Danced" a far superior story and much better written. And the voice performers on the audio cd version of "Dog Who Danced" much better than this group.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
russell
The worst part of this book is the title. I mean, "A Man of His Own" really sounds like a romance about a same sex couple. (Right?) Also, that isn't exactly the problem here. This is not a story about an unwanted dog looking for an owner with whom to bond. This is about a dog with TOO MANY people who love him.

That said, this is an enjoyable tale. It takes place during and right after the Second World War. The dog, Pax, is a shepherd mix devoted to his family: Rick,a talented baseball player just starting his major league career and his bride Fran. But Rick gets drafted, and not long after that Fran and Rick come to an agonizing decision: Pax would join in the War Effort as part of the K9 Corps. He ends up with a young handler, Keller, and goes on to a heroic military career.

Unfortunately, Rick's military experience does not have a happy ending. He is the lone survivor of a horrific event during an ambush, and he loses his pitching arm and the use of his legs. He returns to Fran, profoundly depressed. The idea of Pax's homecoming keeps them going. Keller is assigned to return Pax to the couple, but he feels entitled to make a case for keeping the dog with him. They've bonded. Keller has no family--he was an orphan who bounced around as a kid, and Pax is his first true friend.

They settle on a solution. Keller will move in with the couple as Rick's caregiver, which will allow them to share Pax. And Pax has a new mission: he has to heal this group of sad and broken people.

It's a good story, straightforward and basic. Author Susan Wilson doesn't sentimentalize, and the chapters told from Pax's perspective are realistic. No talking dogs here! Just a good grasp of canine behavior, Pax's sensory abilities, and intuitiveness.

Wilson creates a realistic narrative with a respectable ending.

I liked that this book told a story about the K9 Corps. All of these dogs are heroes and are still saving lives. This would make a good movie, and it could do for dogs what WARHORSE did for horses: remind us that animals have always played important roles in our culture.

This will never be part of the Great Books program, but that's okay. I debated giving it three stars for that very reason, but I think Wilson did a pretty good job. (I read her "One Good Dog" and liked it, too.)

There were a few phrases that I doubt were used in the 1940's. I can say this because my parents are in their late 80's, and in fact my dad is an Army veteran who, like Rick and Keller, served in the the ETO. I have never in my life heard either my mom or dad describe something as "maxed out." There were a few other places where this kind of thing happened.

I'd recommend this book to a dog lover or just anyone who wants to read something serious but not too dense.

But they really need to change the title, or this will end up disappointing potential readers who are seeking out novels in the Rainbow Romance section.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jewyl
What most appealed to me about this book and what stayed with me was the pure sweetness of this story. No pretension, no hard-driven morals and lessons, just a tender story of a dog and his humans and their relationships. Though some may find this overly sappy, those who are fans of such heartfelt tales will surely enjoy all this has to offer. Wilson is a strong writer who uses plenty of heart to capture those of hopeless romantics without ever falling into meaningless drivel. The tale is strong with plenty of twists and, above all, plenty of heart. This is one that will keep you reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
steve young
"...keeping it from Francesca and letting the sharp edges of guilt chisel away at his self-esteem." This story, Susan Wilson's latest in a long-line of very satisfying novels, is told from four perspectives: Pax, the wonderful dog at the heart of this book, a dog conflicted only in his love for these damaged people, damaged by what WW II has done to each of them emotionally, spiritually, and physically; Rick, his dreams of being a major league baseball player waylaid by the outbreak of the war, his having to put those dreams on hold, leaving behind a new wife and his beloved dog, returning from the war with a secret which prevents the healing that one hopes for him; Francesca, her time as a new bride abruptly interrupted by Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor, her Rick's being drafted, her being left as the caretaker of Rick's dog Pax; and Keller, who, as the story plays out, becomes the caretaker and trainer of Pax when Pax is given over by Francesca to the military's K-9 training program. The lives of these characters mesh in a rather unexpected way, a meshing coming from need, eventually from love. Wilson's dealing with the aftermath of war and the terrible wounds that must be addressed will bring to mind our veterans of today and, if lucky enough to come home, coming home to a care and sophistication of care unknown back in the 40's. This book is very much worth reading. I've yet to NOT enjoy a Susan Wilson book, her "The Dog Who Danced" remaining my favorite. There is no more noble, magnificent creature than a dog; dogs allowed to become integral parts of one's life (as Pax becomes an inseparable companion to both Keller and Rick)only enrich that life we lead. You'll be touched by the grace and intelligence of Pax and the love he so unselfishly gives to those around him.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
suzanne hamilton
There are few things in this world as beautiful and profound as the soul of a devoted companion animal. Author Susan Wilson writes with great sensitivity and thoughtfulness about one special dog who goes from an orphaned stray, to a beloved pet, to a brave, battle-tested K-9 Corps service dog. Set in the poignant and patriotic WWII Era, "A Man of his Own" is the story of Pax, a German Shepherd mix, who is rescued as a young pup from starvation in an alley. The man who saves Pax, Rick Stanton, has had a lifelong dream of playing professional baseball. One day at the ballpark, Rick meets a beautiful young woman, Francesca Bell. After a short courtship, the two are married, and Pax must learn to share his master's attentions. When Rick is drafted, he and Francesca later decide to lend Pax to the Dogs for Defense program, and all of their lives will be forever changed. Keller Nicholson has known little real affection during his life. Orphaned during the Great Depression and shifted from one unwelcoming relative to another, he was pulled from his life in a boys home by his great-uncle, who saw Keller as free labor for his lobster fishing. The day after his eighteenth birthday, Keller enlists in the army, eventually being accepted into the K-9 Corps unit. Pax becomes his dog, and the two of them are deeply bonded by their combat experiences. They survive, and the day comes when Pax must be returned to Rick and Francesca. Rick was gravely wounded in combat and is now a paraplegic, wheelchair-bound and never again to be the athlete who lived to play baseball. Keller can't bear to let Pax go, and Rick can't be without his beloved pet, so Rick asks Keller to work as his home healthcare aide. An unusual alliance is formed--a family of sorts--and Pax is one happy dog being with all three of his people. However, as Rick's depression and drug-dependency escalates, so does the tension in the household. Is there more between Keller and Francesca than friendship? This story is told in turns by each of the people, and also by Pax himself. It's a touching tale of how three people and one very special dog survived a time of war and found a measure of healing when and where it was least expected.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
crankyfacedknitter
I've read Susan Wilson's last three books -- One Good Dog, The Dog Who Danced and, now, A Man of His Own. After I finished each one I asked myself how this author will be able to surpass herself in her next book. How she has done it, I guess, is not the point; the point is that she has succeeded each time.

I now consider Susan Wilson to be on my very short list of "don't miss" authors, and I'd highly recommend you give A Man Of His Own (as well as the two other books mentioned) a read. I have no doubt that you'll find its story to be simple, yet profoundly beautiful, its narrative to be so descriptive that you'll feel you are right there experiencing everything each of the four main characters are going through -- one of which is a dog, and its characters to be so well-developed that you'll remember each of them long after you finish the book.

A Man Of His Own involves Pax, the beloved dog of budding baseball player, Rick Stanton, and his young wife, Francesca, who joins the Army's Dogs For Defense Program during WWII. Pax performs heroically, earning the devotion of his soldier trainer, Keller Nicholson. As the war ends, an unusual love triangle forms when Keller reluctantly returns Pax to Rick, only to discover that Rick, who also served in the Army, has suffered horrifically in combat. Keller stays on with the Stantons to serve as Rick's aide in order to be able to stay close to Pax, who is torn between a sense of duty to his two masters. In telling her sensitive and emotionally-charged tale, Wilson alternates narrative perspectives among the human and canine characters, with Pax's intuitive perception of events providing insight into the household's shifting moods and dynamics. As Rick sinks into a deep depression, readers of the author's previous books won't be surprised that it is Pax who provides the healing touch when all else fails.

Please don't feel that you have to be a dog lover to enjoy this book. A Man Of His Own is a book that will be highly enjoyed by anyone who loves a very well-written book that will deeply tap into your full range of emotions.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karen rosati
"A Man of His Own" by Susan Wilson is a beautifully written book with a wonderful flow. It is a story of love, sacrifice, and healing of three people thanks to Pax, a loyal K-9, central to all their lives. Choices made and responsibilities carried out can be difficult. Yet, these difficulties life has brought can lead to unexpected outcomes. A touching story I embraced and found myself lost inside its pages. It warms my heart just thinking about this book. I'll be reading more of Wilson's work.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
reni ivanova
I don't understand the title, "A Man of His Own". In this book, Pax the German Shepherd has a tight bond with TWO men. But no matter the title, this is a great read.

The heart of this book is that two men have a kind of claim on Pax. Rick raised Pax from a puppy. Keller was Pax's trainer and handler during their WWII tour of duty. Rick is gravely injured during the war, and needs his dog back. Keller has found his only "family" in Pax, and cannot bear to return him to Rick. The two men, together with Rick's wife, find a way to build an unusual family centered around the dog.

The dog is a crucial part of the plot. But there is more to the story is far richer than that. Rick returns from the war with a huge guilt burden, and feels "less than a man" with his diminished physical capacity. Keller's backstory is as touching as Rick's current struggles. Rick's wife is caught between the two men.

4.5 stars
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pedro pacheco
I would read cereal boxes if they contained stories about dogs. This book is a touching story about three humans and the dog that loves them all. And they love him, too.

Pax, a German Shepherd Dog, is a valiant soldier in the K-9 corps during WWII. He bonds with his military trainer, who, after the war, returns Pax to the young married couple who loaned him to the military in the first place.

The story is beautifully told, the characters all too human and touching. And the dog is amazing. While I can't imagine sending my little Shih Tzu's, Pekingese, mixed breeds, or even the labs and golden retrievers away from me for any patriotic purpose, it was touching to think that some people might be that selfless. Sort of like raising pups to be service dogs - how do you let them go after you love them?

This is the first book by Susan Wilson I've read, but I am immediately going to order the first two and revel in dog literature.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
annaliese
I never thought about the war effort, men went to war women worked in factories and dogs went to battlefields. This story ate at my heart and it was so wonderful I am now lending it out to friends and getting wonderful reviews from them. Good work Susan Wilson.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
claire aytalin
As a reader, nothing beats reading someone’s personal experience (or an author’s ability to relate someone’s personal experience) in such a way that you experience it the way they did. This is what I enjoy most about reading, and Susan Wilson has delivered that experience in this book. A terrific read for those emotionally connected to others and their pets, or for anyone who cherishes the ability to share our common human emotion through books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jodi davis
"A Man of His Own" tells the heartwarming AND gut-wrenching story of Pax, the dog, and the three people who love him.

This is a book about the unconditional love for and from a dog. It is a story about Pax, marriage, friendship, family, war, loss and healing.

There is Rick, a baseball pitcher, who rescues Pax as an abandoned puppy, and his young bride Francesca. Their life changes forever when Rick heads off to fight in the World War II.

Pax is chosen to be in the Army K-9 Corps during the war and proves himself a hero. Keller is his human that is his handler during this time.

Pax works his magic on all three humans after the war to bring them together and help heal them.

Great characterization and a touching storyline make this a book you don't want to miss, especially if you're a dog lover like I am.

I especially appreciated the tying up of loose ends at the end of the book rather than just keeping readers hanging.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
justin remer
Let me say right up front that I loved this book. The writing was sensitive and held me captivated the entire time. Pax, an abandoned puppy, is the center of this story. He is found by Rick who becomes a ball player for the Braves. Pax then has to make room in his heart for Rick's wife Francesca. Rick goes off to war (WWII) and Pax is sent off to war as part of the Dogs for Defense program. He fights alongside Keller who has never known love until he meets Pax. After the war is over Keller reluctantly has to return Pax to his owners. But Rick has been severely injured in the war and Francesca needs help caring for him. Keller is happy to take a job being Rick's caregiver because then he does not have to leave Pax. But he finds himself falling for Francesca. The chapters bounce around among different viewpoints -- Rick, Francesca, Pax, Keller. You can't help caring for all the characters n the story and wanting them all to be happy but how can they?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
abdegafar elhassan
Well I do, in case I failed to mention it. But this one really deserves my praise because this is a good book for dog lovers. Pax, the star of this book, is a lovable and loving dog that gets enrolled in the K9 corps. I highly recommend this book and think you will enjoy this book so much more than some of the "light" dog books out there.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bob243
This was an excellent read starring a dog rescued from an alley by an aspiring baseball player. I was shocked to find out that during WWII, people actually donated their dogs to the cause! Don't think I'd be able to part with mine for war.
This story entered the minds and emotions of three people and Pax, the dog, and did it in a way that kept the reader feeling like part of the story. The only thing that kept me from rating this a five-star read was the ending. I knew early on it would end the way it did as far as how the characters would end up. For once, it would have been refreshing if it had gone the other way.
Still, a wonderful book, one I couldn't put down. And I seldom read out of my genre, suspense, but this was recommended to me by a friend who knows I'm a dog lover. Loved it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
beatrice bruno
What a beautiful story. My first by this author and I will read more. I too as mentioned by another reviewer wish there had been more detail of the lives of all of them as they went on apart. The few pages recapping 61 years was not enough. That was an important part of all their lives as they adjusted to many more changes.

This story will stay with me a long time
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
anne kennedy
The cover art alone compelled me to enjoy it. Rick rescues Pax the puppy, a German shepherd mix, after Pax's mother (a stray) dies. Rick marries Francesca and they are a family. The World War 2 wrecks Rick's career as a rising baseball star. I almost stopped reading when Rick's wife gives up his dog for military service - I can't even imagine. Saying anything more would be rife with spoilers but I will say that PAX makes it out of War alive, however Rick was so bitter and the jump in years didn't help in making him more appealing. Luckily for other readers I appear to be in the minority.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
glen goldsmith
This story is told with a great deal of emotion. Have a hanky close when you read it. If you are an animal lover, this book is an absolute must for you.

Pax is a dog of extra special talents and intuitive skills. He pulls everyone around him into the circle of his caring and guardianship.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sara o mara
I loved this book! The dog in it, Pax, is portrayed as very smart and extremely loyal. Very believable. The people are also believable and very human. I recommend it. I liked it well enough that I immediately ordered more of the author's books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
simon lewsen
I really like this book. The story is well written and held my interest. It is a good blend of inspiration and reality. The book took some turns I didn't expect and the end - while not the storybook ending I was expecting was well thought out. I would have given it 5 stars, but the opening chapters to set up the story seemed hurried and not as well developed and thought out as the remainder. I would have liked more at the start so I invested more in the characters early on. That aside, great book and worth the journey. I would recommend this book for young adults and up.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
scribal
I found the way the story was told, from all points of view broken by chapter mostly, was unique in that the dog himself also had a voice. It added something special to the story that not every pet story has, a one of a kind viewpoint that created sympathies the author didn't have to pull form the reader another way.

Beyond being a story for pet lovers, it was also one about following your dreams, about love and loss and finding your place in the world, your home, the place you belong. In that way it had something for everyone.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
abdegafar elhassan
Synopsis: Professional baseball player Rick Stanton has everything going for him. A loving wife, Francesca, and a loyal dog, Pax. Then WWII breaks out and both Rick and Pax head overseas. Rick as a soldier and Pax assigned to soldier Keller Nicholson of the K-9 corp.

When all 3 return broken and battered, Pax seems to be the key to healing. When Keller is hired as Rick's live-in aide, will other issues arise which could tear the 3 apart again?

My rating: 3.5 Stars

My opinion: While I enjoyed this book, particularly the WWII aspect of it, I must admit that this wasn't my favorite of the author. I found the telling it from multiple perspectives (4) was highly confusing and broken up. As a result, while I loved the overall storyline, I found it was a bit more difficult to get attached to.

Source: Publisher for review

Would I recommend? : Yes, it was still a warm-hearted read.

Stand Alone or Part of a Series: Stand Alone
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chris rogers
I loved, loved, loved this book. Had some twists and turns I didn't
expect. The characters were so well developed, I felt I actually
knew them. And Pax, well, what can I say? I fell in love with him.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brooks
My first Susan Wilson dog book, and I could not stop reading it. I knew hearts would be broken, but was not prepared for the emotion I experienced as a devout dog lover.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bree conklin
read it on my Kobo, ordered this for my wife, who is eReader averse...... GREAT story, incredible weaving of peolpe & history.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
tracy
I love Susan Wilson's dog books, but this one didn't click for me. I think it was the historical setting that didn't feel authentic. If you're thinking of picking up on of her books, try The Dog Who Saved Me or One Good Dog. They work much better and give a better reading experience.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
michelle g
good story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
paul ingrassia
I always think of Susan Wilson as a romance writer, but this is a love story of how one dog can transform lives. My only reservation is that there are a lot of different points of view and all this head hopping can be confusing if you put the book down and then pick it up again a day or two later.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
inga ingvarsd ttir
I loved the book - it was definitely a 5-Kleenex story! There was only a hint of sex, and small violent references to the World War II sections. It really was good.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah fite
Love her dog books..and I would recommend all of them .Susan Wilson draws you into her story, just love them .LK
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amenar
This was one lucky dog, surviving WWII as a trained soldier and finding a loving home with his people afterwards.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
wes morgan
Great story. I loved the way Wilson used the dog as the anchor in the plot.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
allison harper
This is a book of a dog who loved, served his country but even more his extended and beloved family.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
vanity celis
Engaging, fabulous read. Loved the characters
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