When I received the email asking if I wanted to review a book about a dog who encounters the Messiah, I was intrigued by the premise of a story about Jesus told from a dog's perspective. I wanted to see how the author would manage to write an entire book with a dog as his main character. Author Ron Marasco is a master storyteller who weaves an incredible, believable story about a dog named Barley who learns about forgiveness, loyalty, and unconditional love along life's journey in The Dog Who Was There. As I read The Dog Who Was There, I felt as though I was standing right beside Barley: my heart pounding as he faced fearful situations, my heart saddened as he dealt with heart-wrenching tragedies, and my heart cheered with joy as he triumphed. Ron Marasco not only has written a remarkable book that will keep you riveted until the end but also tells the crucifixion from a unique view that makes it more touching and personal than ever before. The Dog Who Was There is a must read for teens and adults alike.
Blurb from The Dog Who Was There:
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.
Ron Marasco is a professor in the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His first book, Notes to an Actor, was named by the American Library Association an Outstanding Book of 2008. His second book, About Grief, has been translated into multiple languages, and he is currently completing a book on Shakespeare’s sonnets. He has acted extensively on TV—from Lost to West Wing to Entourage to originating the role of Mr. Casper on Freaks and Geeks—and appeared opposite screen legend Kirk Douglas in the movie Illusion, for which he also wrote the screenplay. Most recently, he has played the recurring role of Judge Grove on Major Crimes. He has a BA from Fordham at Lincoln Center and an MA and Ph. D. from UCLA.
The Dog Who Was There is available at CBD, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble