Emer Morrisey has not had an easy
childhood. Growing up in poor rural Ireland during the Cromwell invasion, Emer
loses her family at a young age and is forced to live with her cruel uncles
family. Her only friend is Seanie, a neighborhood boy. When her uncle forces
her to marry an old Parisian, Emer escapes to the Caribbean, where she
eventually ends up a successful pirate.
A series of coincidences brings
Emer and Seanie back together again. Just as they plan to retire from piracy
and spend the rest of their lives together, a hated figure from Emers past
tears their plans apart. Emer is cursed to live a hundred lives as a dog before
finally becoming a human again.
Now, in the late twentieth
century, Emer has been reborn as Saffron Adams, a girl from a run-down,
messed-up family in Pennsylvania. And shes really determined to get back to
Jamaica and reclaim the treasure that only she knows is buried there&
THE DUST OF 100 DOGS has a
frightfully original concept that takes a while to get into, but once you do,
look out! You will get caught up in Saffron and Emers story. I particularly
liked reading about Emers life, the chapters of which are interspersed in
between Saffrons story and that of Fred Livingstone, a slightly crazy rich
pervert who lives in a glass mansion in Jamaica. Sound a little random? Well,
yes, but his story is tied in with Saffrons, and I found it remarkable how A.
S. King paralleled Emer and Saffrons adventures, 300 years apart.
While the idea was great, I
couldnt really get into the way it was executed. Saffron fell flat for me,
although this is sadly understandable, since she is more a vessel for Emers
desires. Saffrons family was depressingly run-down and unsympathetic, and the
episodes that occurred during Emers childhood felt too prolonged for me.
Issues such as homosexual urges and rape were brought up in an uncomfortable
and incomplete manner that begged explanation&which we dont get.
Im ambivalent as to how I feel
about THE DUST OF 100 DOGS, but nevertheless it is still a highly original and
adventurous book that many will enjoy.