Written in first-puppy POV, we follow Darling as she leaves her human family and goes from life in the country to life on the battlefield. We feel her exhilaration at finding a wounded soldier, her intense fear as the ground explodes around her while bullets whir overhead, her gut-wrenching desperation and drive to keep digging, to keep searching, for a soldier that, for personal reasons, she simply has to save.
Darling: Mercy Dog of World War I brought tears to my eyes. I don’t know if that’s because I read it on Veteran’s Day or if I’m just overly emotional, but Darling’s story gripped me by the heart and wouldn’t let me go. I just keep thinking about what I read and how it made me feel.
Darling’s tale is fictitious, but it’s rooted in the truth. Multiple British families sacrificed their beloved pets to the war; horses, dogs, and pigeons were used to find wounded soldiers, carry messages, and tote supplies—and many lost their lives in the process; they made the ultimate sacrifice playing a vital part in a human war they couldn’t possibly understand.
Many thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for a review copy. This is an excellent story, and I carry it in my heart.