Tobit’s Dog, written by Michael Nicholas Richard, and published by Ignatius Press is a fascinating book. It is a re-telling of the Book of Tobit from the Old Testament. This time, the story of Tobit is set in the southern United States between the two World Wars.
The book deals deftly with difficult issues such as racism. At the same time, its well-developed characters illustrate human nature: good, bad and sometimes in-between. Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, humor pops up from time-to-time and always seems natural to the characters involved.
The Book of Tobit is absent from many bibles. Its use as the basis of this novel identifies it as a “Catholic” novel. One of the story’s very compelling qualities is that when a Catholic teaching appears, it has no feeling of being superimposed; the Catholicism is integral to the story.
That said, I do feel that this book could have been edited a bit more carefully. There was more than one instance of a quotation mark left open. Chapter Eight had what appeared to me to be a word placement (“Almost he…”) error.
This book deals with some dark subject matter: racism, murder and rape, which might make it unsuitable reading for young teenagers. These topics are discussed in a manner that is unlikely to upset sensitive adult readers.
This is a book which might well raise awareness of the Book of Tobit in scripture. Even if it does not do that, it serves as an enjoyable piece of summer reading.
Disclaimer: This book was supplied to me for review by Ignatius Press