‘The animals in this book are all real, as are their stories.
The people’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Fact or fiction? Well. dogs can’t talk, can they?’
These are the words of author FJ Curlew in reference to her second novel Dan Knew.
In this book the author tells us about life as seen through the eyes of Danya, a stray that was given a home in the Ukraine in 2002.
Today I am joining Dan Knew on tour…
This is Dan’s story…
A puppy born to the dangers of street life
A woman in trouble
An unbreakable bond
A Ukrainian street dog is rescued from certain death by an expat family.
As he travels to new countries with them a darkness grows and he finds himself narrating more than just his story. More than a dog story. Ultimately it’s a story of escape and survival but maybe not his.
The world through Wee Dan’s eyes in a voice that will stay with you long after you turn that last page.
‘Snatching at the ground. Eyes staring. A bad noise. The body of a dog. Noses high, hackles raised, senses on alert. Fresh meat. They pulled at it, tearing bits of flesh from it’s body. Growling and snarling at each other. I watched my mother edging forward….a quick dash, a snap, a growl, and she was running back with meat in her mouth.’
A puppy’s view from under a building where he lives with his mother and siblings. Their life is a daily struggle, scavenging to survive. But a dramatic turn of events changes everything and puppy soon ends up in the care of humans, who lovingly take him in and name him Danya (soon shortened to Dan)
Dan soon becomes acquainted with the two resident dogs in the house, Ceilidh and Lada, and life settles in to a routine.
But from the beginning, Dan senses all is not right. There is a presence in the family of a male individual who Dan refers to as HIM. It is HIM that he fears and it is HIM that creates a scary environment for all.
Dan loves Mum and her daughter Lily. He loves being with them and he loves nothing more than seeing Mum come in the door after her day’s work. Mum works in the International Schools as a teacher, so they move around a lot to various parts of Europe. Mum is originally from Scotland but her love of travelling took her overseas to discover new places and new ways of life.
But as Dan is soon a witness to, the life of Mum is not such a good one. Mum is constantly looking over her shoulder and permanently on edge. Her passion for her animals and the love for her daughter help her through some very tough days.
Dan spends many hours travelling to various parts of the world and we get to see these experiences over the years through his eyes. Over eleven years, he lives in Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, Portugal. He travels back to the UK and Scotland. He makes journeys on planes, trains and boats, all narrated to the reader from a dog’s perspective.
Dan Knew is a very personal story. It is the story of a fight for survival. It is a story of the love we have for our pets and the attachments that develop. It is the story of one woman’s courage, against all the odds, to deal with the traumatic events that challenge her on a daily basis. It is the story of how one little dog called Danya was a shining light when times were dark.
‘This is a story of Darkness and Triumph’
Purchase Link ~ Dan Knew
Fiona dropped out of school aged 15, because being the consummate rebel, she hated it!
After becoming a single parent she decided to return to education, graduating in 1996 with an honours degree in primary education. Ah, the irony!
As soon as she graduated she packed everything she owned into her Renault 11, including her daughter, two dogs and a cat, and headed off to Estonia to become an international school teacher.
After fifteen years of teaching, predominantly in Eastern Europe, she returned to the UK.
She now lives on the east coast of Scotland with two Scottish rescue dogs and a disgruntled Portuguese cat.
Fiona is the author of two books:
To Retribution – A love story/political thriller set in times of turmoil.
Dan Knew – A fictionalised account of her travels told through the eyes of Dan, her rescued Ukrainian street dog.
Twitter ~ @FJCurlew