Life with Sally

It’s obvious Tricia McDonald loves her miniature bull terrier, Sally: who else but a devoted dog mom would drive three hours just to take their pup to an ice cream shop for dogs? Or devote an entire essay to how much she missed her companion during a weeklong writing retreat? Or treat their beloved to a doggy massage? However, even though McDonald’s adoration of Sally is never in question, the same can’t be said for her prose – it’s clunky and cliche-riddled. What’s presented as humor come across like flat soda. For instance, at a time when adopting shelter dogs is widely encouraged, her first essay about buying Sally via the interwebs – and writing a three-figure check to an airline for her transport – is astonishingly atonal.

This slim small-press tome illustrates one of the today’s biggest publishing problems: it’s easier than ever to self-publish, and as a result many hacks find their wooden way into the light. McDonald fancies herself an auteur, but she’s just a scribe whose work falls so short not even Esther Newberg could save it.

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