I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.
An Act of Devotion is written by T. A. Ashcroft and revolves around the life of Franklin (a 3-year-old chocolate lab) and the humans whose lives he becomes a part of.
Admittedly, I don't care how many times I was told that Franklin was a Labrador, I kept picturing him as a Golden Retriever for some strange reason. This book is told from many points of view, occasionally even from Franklin, although I would have liked to have been inside Franklin's mind a bit more. Ashcroft does a superb job of setting the scene of the story and making the reader feel intimately connected to Franklin; likewise, it was easy to connect to the main characters in the story.
In the beginning there is some getting used to the varying point of views, as it is a bit unique from most books. Ashcroft does an excellent job of showing both the good and bad of humanity, especially in terms to the treatment of dogs. I will warn the faint of heart that there is some detailed dog fighting in the story that was really hard to read, even she was good at steering away from it before too long. It gave an intimate look at the training that left me feeling sick at heart.
I took longer to read this novel as there were times that I needed to take a break away from the horrors of those who do not feel the same love and respect for dogs that I do, and felt dread at certain parts. Luckily Ashcroft does a stupendous job of ending the story that left tears in my eyes and a wish that the same ending could be possible in reality.
The negative aspects of the story for me were that this story is very obviously written in the UK style (given that the author is from England), and it was slightly distracting with the different colloquialisms that are not familiar in US English. I actually was under the impression that this story was taking place in England until Colorado Springs and Denver were talked about as the location. There also were typos throughout the story, but not enough to make me exasperated, yet still enough to cause as a slight distraction.
Overall I give this book a 4/5 stars. I must applaud Ashcroft for taking on the task of tacking such a painful subject and still providing a feel good ending for the reader. If you are an animal lover, dog lover, humanitarian, lover of what feels like a small town story, fiction lover or just like a good book on the short end of length, than this book is for you.