Lawyer for the Dog: a novel
Thomas Dunne; Available July 7, 2015
HC 24.99; 240 pp
The author of this delightful novel practiced law in South Carolina for twenty years and knows the ropes. So her protagonist, the super sharp Sally Baynard, is perfectly drawn. Pushing fifty, divorced from Judge Joe Baynard, of the elite Baynard family in SC, coping with her mother’s advancing Alzheimer’s, and struggling to build up a small practice in family law, Sally is just barely keeping the balls in the air when her ex-husband the judge pulls a fast one.
A divorce case is being held up because of one big bone of contention: Sherman, a miniature schnauzer whom both husband and wife adore and claim as their own. Judge Baynard assigns Sally as the dog’s attorney/guardian. But is he really just trying to win her back as his second marriage falters? Sally doesn’t believe so, and also doesn’t really know what to do with a dog, but before long, Sherman wins her over and she becomes more and more entangled in the bitter custody battle, and more and more in love with the little pup.
And meanwhile, Sherman’s veterinarian turns out to be a charming and available fellow who just might change Sally’s views about the benefits of staying single.
Robinson’s writing is swift and lively, making this a fun, fast read. It's particularly refreshing to read a novel featuring a woman of a certain age without the tired stereotypes or feeling of marginalization. Sally Baynard is a great character, and one who deserves to be revisited again. Let's hope this first novel is just the beginning.
Available for pre-order at www.booksforanimallovers.com.