Mar 21st, 2011 by Marilyn
Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook
Ah, the age of ”blind” dating. Sarah Hurlihy is a barely 40 DWF, whose meddling sister, Carol, writes up an ad for Sarah and puts it in the newspaper personals. Sarah finally answers one of the ads and decides to meet John Anderson at a dog park. She borrows her brother’s dog, Mother Teresa, and looks for someone who resembles Harrison Ford. And with that the crazy new love life of Sarah Hurlihy begins.
From Back Cover
Sarah Hulihy’s second mistake is letting her sister write the personal ad for her. (Her first was answering one, and getting the suprise of her life.) Now she’s juggling her job at the preschool, her interfering family, and more men than she knows what to do with. It might beat mindless evenings watching The Brady Bunch, but not by much. And what’s with all the dogs that are suddenly bounding into her life?
Sarah is ready to put divorce behind her and take bold steps toward a new life. But she’s not sure where she’s headed, or if she’ll survive the journey. It takes a few wrong men…and some tangles with a Saint Bernard…before Sarah begins to appreciate the riotous ride she’s on, and to see through the confusion to where her heart’s desire truly lies.
Book Club Party Ideas for Must Love Dogs
Not everyone who comes to your book club party Must Love Dogs, but it is fun to do something for those who do. I had everyone submit a favorite photo of their dog and we voted on which one we liked the best. I gave a dog toy to the winning photo.
Another idea that came from a friend of mine, who is in a different book club, is to meet at a dog park. They packed snacks and drinks for themselves and discussed the book while their dogs played. Find a dog park near you by visiting www.dogparkusa.com
Sarah’s brother, Michael, brings Sarah a bouquet of flowers to thank her for listening to his marital struggles. The main flowers in this arrangement were chrysanthemums. I purchased a beautiful bouquet for my center piece at my local supermarket. You can also conveniently purchase flower arrangements online for delivery.
In the tradition of the Hurlihy’s Irish blood and having some Irish blood myself, I chose to play Ireland’s Greatest Hits.
Book Club Menu for Must Love Dogs
The inspiration for the meal came from two different scenes in the book. In one scene, Sarah and her dad sit on the couch watching The Brady Bunch and enjoying tomato soup and oyster crackers. In the other scene, Sarah and John are trying to enjoy a meal at Sarah’s house when Carol and her husband stop by to drop off Thanksgiving leftovers. I decided to make a light meal of Creamy Tomato Basil Soup and Thanksgiving Turkey Club served with Sweet Potato Fries. I had some Irish Stout on hand for those who wanted to enjoy a beer.
For dessert, I made an Irish Cream Parfait served with coffee.
Bucket of Irish Stout
Book Club Resources
Ratings at the time this post was published
|Goodreads: 3.24 stars (1086 reviews)|
|Amazon: 4 stars (71 reviews)|
|My Rating: 4 stars - This is a fun light-hearted story about about a DWF struggling to figure out what she wants out of love.|
Purchase Must Love Dogs at your favorite bookseller
- “[A] laugh-out-loud novel…a light and lively read for anyone who has tried to reenter the dating scene – or tried to ‘fix up’ someone else.” — Boston Herald
- “Claire Cook’s characters aren’t rich or glamorous — they’re physically imperfect, emotionally insecure, and deeply familiar. Must Love Dogs is a sweet funny novel about first dates and second chances.” – Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children
- “Utterly charming…a fun read.” –Library Journal
- “A wry look at contemporary courtship rituals, as well as a warm portrayal of a large Irish-American family.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Discussion Questions for Must Love Dogs
- Sarah’s sister writes up a personal ad for Sarah, even though Sarah is reluctant. “If I became overly interested in it, I might start to imagine a life beyond the one I’d botched. And if I hoped for a new life, I’d be crushed if one never surfaced.” (Page 40) Do most divorced people feel this way? Does having meddling family members help or hinder this situation? What experiences have you had with a family member leading you to do something that you weren’t quite comfortable with? How did it turn out?
- What team are you on – Team John Anderson or Team Bob Connor? Did Sarah make the right decision in the end?
- Have you had an experience with personal ad dating? Were the ”potentials” truthful in their ads? How has the world of personal ad dating changed over the years with the internet so prominent?
Claire Cook’s eighth novel will be out in June of 2011. She wrote her first novel at age 45 while sitting in her minivan during her daughter’s swim practice. Her second novel, Must Love Dogs, was made into a movie.
Visit Claire Cook
Other Works by Claire Cook
Must Love Dogs The Movie
Must Love Dogs was made into a movie in 2005 starring Diane Lane and John Cusack.
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