Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee is the type of book I like — realistic fiction that involves a character overcoming some type of obstacle and growing in the process. In this case, Emily’s husband Sandy is in an accident and dies suddenly. His death puts her in a sort of a tailspin especially because she finds out some things about him that she would have rather not known, but when she rescues Einstein the dog from a shelter, it is actually Einstein who rescues her.
Did I say I enjoy realistic fiction? Well, actually I like to suspend disbelief as well (which is one reason I enjoy children’s middle grade fiction so much), and this book definitely requires a bit of that. You see, Sandy is actually given a chance by “the old man” for a second chance at life. Instead of being a self-absorbed, not-very-nice trust fund kid, he’s charged with the task of helping Emily out. And the way he does that is within Einstein’s dog body.
If you are a dog lover, you will enjoy the way that Emily and Einstein communicate. He also manages to come across as “more than just a dog” to others who he comes across. It’s actually interesting, because he remembers being Sandy, and he remembers what a jerk he was, but doesn’t seem to put himself fully into the jerk category.
Emily and Einstein would make a great summer beach read. It’s the kind of book that doesn’t require a whole lot of concentration, which is good, because at the time I was reading it, I had a lot of family stuff going on, and I needed a nice diversion that didn’t require too much brain power. This one delivered with a little romance, a bookish setting (in a publishing house), in the greatest city in the country (New York), some family drama (mothers, sisters). It’s not going to change the world, but it entertained me for the week that I was reading it, and if that doesn’t make for a great book, I don’t know what does.