Sunday, June 20, 2021

Book Review: Oliver by Steven J. Carino and Alex Tresniowski

About the Book:

He Was Searching for a Lost Dog. 
He Found More Than He’d Ever Hoped For.

On Valentine’s Day 2019, someone stole Steven Carino’s dog, Oliver, from his car. Having lost his mother at thirteen and grown up with an alcoholic father, he could always count on his dogs for comfort and company. But now, with his beloved Oliver missing, Steven felt utterly alone.

Then, the miracle. In a series of near-impossible coincidences, people from different walks of life crossed paths with Oliver and with Steven. Hardworking immigrants, wealthy suburbanites, car mechanics, deli workers, old friends, close relatives, street cops, gang members, a TV news reporter, social media followers around the world, and one very gifted hairdresser all played a part in Steven’s desperate journey to find Oliver. In the middle of it all, Steven realized that no one is ever truly alone--and that the power of community can be life-changing.

Oliver is not just a book about a stolen dog. At its core, it’s a story about kindness, friendship, and the power of faith. As Steven says, “This is more than just a dog story. This is an everybody story. This is a love story.”

My Thoughts:

Oliver: The True Story of a Stolen Dog and the Humans He Brought Together by Steven J. Carino and Alex Tresniowski offers a story of love and community suitable for all animal lovers, but especially those who love dogs. Much time is devoted to Oliver and Steven’s close canine-human relationship. At first, the moments of extreme emotion felt excessive. However, as Steven continued explaining his past experiences and his devotion to Oliver, I came to recognize Oliver’s loss as equivalent to the loss of a child. This understanding boosted my interest in the story and helped me relate to Steven. Though Oliver was not written exclusively by Steven J. Carino, his voice permeates the narrative as he recounts the raw emotions and spiritual struggles of that time with deep honesty and authenticity.

Oliver stands as more than the memoir of a man whose dog was taken because it tells the story of how the people around Steven drew together in unity. Race, age, gender, and social status lacked any importance. The community – family members, friends, strangers, social media followers, and others – saw a need and responded with compassion and love. Furthermore, as Steven recognizes these gifts, he learns to reach out with love and forgiveness to those who hurt him the most. Oliver lands as inspiring tale about the power of love to transform a life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this product via the Amazon Vine program. All opinions in this review are my own.

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