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The Whispering Fields
by Joseph Collins
About this Book
In the wilds of Upstate New York, a young dog is abandoned on a lonely country roadan act that propels him into an epic journey of adventure and self-discovery. After meeting four other strays, the newly-formed canine fellowship sets off on a quest to find the Whispering Fields, a legendary, hidden sanctuary for all homeless and unwanted dogs.
But is their spirit up to the challenges of the wilderness? Or the evil plans of a wicked coyote? Does the haven really even exist? And who will survive the Hollow Hound, a ghostly canine whose chilling appearances forebode of tragic things to come?
About the Author
When he can find the time, in addition to writing, Joseph Collins also enjoys sketching, hiking, biking, swimming, and, on occasion, canoeing and hang-gliding.
Collins currently lives in Queens, New York with his cat, Merlin.
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In the grand tradition of Watership Down, first-time author Joseph Collins' animal fantasy, The Whispering Fields, follows a group of five stray dogs as they struggle to survive New York's upstate wilderness, while seeking out a legendary, hidden sanctuary for all homeless and unwanted dogs.
When Toby, a young, border-collie mix, is dumped on a solitary country road one foggy, October morning, his epic journey begins. Afraid and confused, and wrestling with newfound fears of abandonment, he soon finds solace when he meets up with four other strays.
There's Max, a wise, old golden retriever, who quickly becomes Toby's mentor, offering consolation and bits of advise and wisdom; soon followed by Bosco and Dodger, who, as the heart and soul of the group, wholeheartedly believe in the Whispering Fields (a sort of Shangri-la for dogs), and possess the all-but-forgotten poem that hopefully will lead them to its safety; and Zeus, a strong, yet somber and moody German shepherd with a dark secret, who seriously doubts the haven's existence.
Once their quest gets under way, it isn't long before the dogs face one obstacle after another, from surviving the wilderness and harsh weather, to a battle of wits and brawn with a devious coyote, to their unnerving encounters with a ghostly hound, whose appearances they fear are an omen of tragic things to come.
As the canine fellowship come to know each other and form lasting bonds of friendship, we come to know them, and are exposed to a whole new world of animal culture, songs, stories and myths. The reader can't help but cheer on the canine heroes, well-drawn and likable characters, as they struggle in a world of cruelty and hardships, in an attempt to find their much coveted sanctuary.
A mix of adventure and mythology, of animal fable and character study, The Whispering Fields, ultimately, is a tale of friendship and survival, and, in these violent and disturbing times, of dreaming of a better, more peaceful world.
The Whispering Fields was published by Foremost Press. It can be ordered at ForemostPress.com.
352 pp, $16.97