About the 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.
The Dog Who Was There is written in a simple, easy to understand style, from the perspective of Barley, a dog living in Jerusalem just prior to and immediately following the crucifixion of Christ.
The story is unique and endearing in its viewpoint. As you read Barley’s story you get caught up in the imagery, remarkably told and eloquently described in the book.
One section touched me as one of the characters described their definition of despair; “. . . despair is so difficult to let go of because it helps us to justify the worst things inside of us. We think: I lack, so I can steal. I hurt, so I can injure. I failed at one thing, so now watch me destroy my whole life. . .But when despair is gone, we cannot help but change. We simply must.” I feel this is a sad treatise on their and our society.
Ron Marasco does an incredible job of presenting the story through the eyes of Barley. He captures Barley’s actions and thoughts in a way that you can easily believe if you have ever been around a dog.
The Dog Who Was There is an out of the ordinary story that is very interesting, challenging and inspiring.
I received this book free through the Fiction Guild program in exchange for an honest review.