Desiree, the Music of My Soul, Peggy Race
Memoir, 253 pages
Published: August 5, 2021
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Reviewed by Michelle Caffrey
Title of Review: One Woman’s Determination --Five stars
After a divorce and untimely death of her second husband, Peggy Race vows to be a better “dog parent” to gain purpose in her life. She volunteers at a shelter, and spots a Hurricane Katrina survivor, Desiree, returned from adoption for behavioral issues. Most of the problems Ms. Race realizes, are due to a mismatch of adopters to the working breed, Australian shepherd, and not a fault of the dog. Desiree is also a survivor of trauma, which has left its scars on both the author and the dog. The shelter has strict criteria for adoption, and Ms. Race grapples with the well-meaning bureaucracy to adopt her “heart dog.”
The unconditional love that grows between the author and Desiree is healing for both human and dog. The story is told in a way the reader can relate to Ms. Race’s journey. Her tenacity to move forward in her life and improve the lives of the animals despite roadblocks and self-doubt, makes this a memorable read.
Reviewer: Michelle Caffrey’s travel memoir, Just Imagine: A New Life on an Old Boat details cruising the waterways of France aboard her 1906 Dutch barge. She is the author of Bring Jade Home: The True story of a Dog Lost in Yellowstone. Her award-winning picture book Jade-Lost in Yellowstone was published in 2020. She is working on a novel set in Wisconsin’s Dairyland, where she and her husband Paul now reside.