I like reading books about war dogs, shipwrecks, and lady aviators.
Written in first-puppy POV, we follow Darling as she leaves her human family and goes from life in the country to life on the battlefield. We feel her exhilaration at finding a wounded soldier, her intense fear as the ground explodes around her while bullets whir overhead, her gut-wrenching desperation and drive to keep digging, to keep searching, for a soldier that, for personal reasons, she simply has to save.
Darling: Mercy Dog of World War I brought tears to my eyes. I don't know if that's because I read it on Veteran's Day or if I'm just overly emotional, but Darling's story gripped me by the heart and wouldn't let me go. I just keep thinking about what I read and how it made me feel.
Darling's tale is fictitious, but it's rooted in the truth. Multiple British families sacrificed their beloved pets to the war. Horses, dogs, and pigeons were used to find wounded soldiers, carry messages, and tote supplies--and many lost their lives in the process; they made the ultimate sacrifice playing a vital part in a human war they couldn't possibly understand.
Many thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for a review copy. This is an excellent story, and I carry it in my heart.