|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
Book of the Week: The Dog Stars
Each week, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors of O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. This Monday, we're swooning over:
The Dog Stars
By Peter Heller
There have been some beautifully written and truly upsetting end-of-the-world books recently—The Age of Miracles and Zone One come to mind—but Peter Heller's The Dog Stars has put a fresh twist on the genre. In this quiet, meditative novel, Hig, the main character, has lost his wife and everyone in his family due to a flu epidemic that has killed most of the population of the United States. He now lives with his dog and a survivalist neighbor on an abandoned airstrip that's regularly attacked by roving bands of very scary, violent scavengers. Despite the grimness of his life, Hig manages to see the beauty in his surroundings, and it's his voice that keeps you entranced, with vivid details like "the smell of running water, of cold stone, of fir and spruce, like the sachets my mother used to keep in the sock drawer."
There is still one loss that Hig has to bear, and the grief over this sends him flying in his single-prop plane into the wilderness without enough gas to return. Brilliantly, this isn't the end of the story, because it's the people he meets when he least expects to who change everything, proving a truth we know from our everyday nonfictional lives: Even when it seems like all the humans in the world are only out for themselves, there are always those few who prove you absolutely wrong—in the most surprising of ways.
Beach reads for the last two weeks of summer
The best books for kids
Please note that Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities have no affiliation with and do not endorse those entities, projects, or websites referenced above, which are provided solely as a courtesy. You should conduct your own independent investigation before using the services of any such entities, projects, or websites. Information is provided for your reference only.