Dogs Don’t Cook 

In Dogs Don’t Cook by author Catherine Alexander, Thomas ‘Hatch’ Hatchfield was an artist. It was all he dreamed of being from the time he picked up a crayon. Then came the Vietnam war. Returning from the war as a veteran, he was scarred by his experiences and struggled with homelessness and alcohol addiction. Judged by society and all but abandoned by what’s left of his family, Hatch’s only real friend is his dog, Bud. Dog lovers won’t be surprised to know that Bud is a loyal straight-talker and doesn’t shy away from telling Hatch honest truths about things even when it is painful.

With no family that wants to help him, Hatch eventually stumbles into meeting the practical and kind-hearted Rosa, who becomes his real family. She gives him a place to live and work and inspires him to get back on his feet and start to create art again. The relationship between Hatch and Rosa is beautiful and shows that kindness is still out there in the world.

Hatch is a very clearly drawn character with a distinctive voice written from a first-person perspective. You are immediately drawn into his world and can’t help but find yourself firmly on his side right from the beginning. The Vietnam war period sets the backdrop for Hatch’s journey, and it provides a timely and poignant commentary on the war in general. I felt that in a couple of instances, elements of the story seemed to be dropped in for convenience without being fully developed or resolved, like the handling of Hatch’s brief love interest. There is a stark contrast in the portrayal of Hatch as a hopeless drunk vs. him sober, without a lot of transition between the two stages. Watching Hatch emerge from his drunken fog and reclaim parts of his former self is heartwarming.

Dogs Don’t Cook is a moving story of love, loss, family, and triumph over considerable adversity. This historical war fiction novel captures the emotions many returning vets felt and shows some of the challenges they endured once returning to America. Hatch is the character who stays with you long after you finish the book.

Pages: 266 | ASIN : B09NCZJ4Q6

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The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on April 29, 2022, in Book Reviews, Four Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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