The Dog That Was There
By Ron Marasco
Published by Thomas Nelson
262 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah. He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley’s eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we’ve never experienced before.

Barley’s story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver’s home and through the dangerous roads of Roman-occupied Judea.

On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.

REVIEW: Barley has it rough at first, then he finds a good home with a couple who follow the man from Galilee. Thru an unexpected turn of events Barely finds himself alone on the outskirts of Jerusalem. There he sees “Jesus” up-close and personal. Barley calls him “The kind man.”

He notices how people treat “the teacher from Galilee” (that’s what his master called him). Some people loved him and tried to apply his teachings to their lives. Others wanted to harm him. Barely watched this man share a love he hadn’t witness before.

A woman explains how Barley’s not desperate like some people she knew. “Prisca laughs and says, “this little one doesn’t despair.” She rubs Barley’s belly. “He’s always looking for the next good thing. A hand to lick, some food to chomp, a stuck to fetch, a sight to see, a friend to curl up next to.”

The retelling of the greatest story ever told will have you see familiar events with fresh eyes. It’s an endearing and inspirational tale dealing with themes of forgiveness, struggles to survive, ordinary people facing hard situations with a new-found courage and experience an unforgettable love. I liked how this author put in a few surprises for readers along this dog’s journey thru Jerusalem. Barley is a charmer, he grows on you. You’ll be moved by what he sees and how he interprets it. I liked how this novel was written through Barely the dog’s eyes.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the BookLook site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog
Book Fun Magazine


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