Title: To Night Owl From Dogfish
Publication Date: 21st February 2019
About the book:
From two extraordinary authors comes a moving, exuberant, laugh-out-loud novel about friendship and family, told entirely in emails and letters.
Avery Bloom, who’s bookish, intense, and afraid of many things, particularly deep water, lives in New York City. Bett Devlin, who’s fearless, outgoing, and loves all animals as well as the ocean, lives in California. What they have in common is that they are both twelve years old, and are both being raised by single, gay dads.
When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends–and possibly, one day, even sisters.
But things soon go off the rails for the girls (and for their dads too), and they find themselves on a summer adventure that neither of them could have predicted. Now that they can’t imagine life without each other, will the two girls (who sometimes call themselves Night Owl and Dogfish) figure out a way to be a family?
What I Thought:
One day out of the blue Avery Bloom receives an email from Bett Devlin informing her that their dads met at a convention and are planning on sending the girls to the same sleepaway camp so they can get to know one another and hopefully become friends. The problem with this plan? The girls are complete opposites and have no intention of becoming friends. To Night Owl From Dogfish follows their relationship over the course of the summer and beyond through a series of emails back and forth.
For me the structure of the book was both a positive and a negative. The story is told solely through emails between Avery, Bett and a few family members, the negative side to this, which is only a minor one, was that it took me a little while to connect with the characters, I think that was probably because there was no additional narration. That said as I got further into the book and the girls got to know one another a little better the emails really started to show their characters and their relationship with one another and you really got a feel for how they felt about their situation and the events that unfold over the course of the book.
It’s safe to say that Avery and Bett are two very different people, in fact to begin with the only things they have in common is being 12 year old girls both being raised by single, gay dads. Avery loves her books, worries a lot and is completely risk adverse, on the other hand Bett is a bit of a daredevil, she loves a bit of adventure and is a keen surfer. I was quite surprised that although as a child I would often be found with a book I made a connection much sooner with Bett than Avery, Avery definitely grew on me though. Throughout the book we’re also introduced to Avery and Bett’s extended family and I have to give a special mention to Bett’s grandmother Betty who was just brilliant!
Finally I’m really curious about Holly and Meg wrote the book, if Meg wrote as Avery all the time, and Holly as Bett (or vice versa) or did they both write a bit of both characters…
I won’t lie, it took me a little while to get into To Night Owl From Dogfish and really connect with the characters but I’m so glad it finally clicked for me. By the end I was fully invested in Bett and Avery’s outcome. To Night Owl From Dogfish is well worth a read.
More Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer on SWB
About The Authors
Holly Goldberg Sloan was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and spent her childhood living in California, the Netherlands, Istanbul, Washington, DC, and Oregon (where she graduated from high school). She wrote the screenplay for Angels in the Outfield and directed The Big Green, as well as a number of other successful family feature films.
Meg Wolitzer is the New York Times–bestselling author of The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, The Wife, and Sleepwalking. She is also the author of the young adult novel Belzhar. Wolitzer lives in New York City.
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Want to buy it?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?