Written over a period of ten years by the poet, journalist, educator and clergyman, Vernon Schmid, Seven Days of the Dog centers around the John Lee Parker, a poet and journalist, called home in the summer dog days of Kansas for the funeral of hisMoreWritten over a period of ten years by the poet, journalist, educator and clergyman, Vernon Schmid, Seven Days of the Dog centers around the John Lee Parker, a poet and journalist, called home in the summer dog days of Kansas for the funeral of his lifelong mentor and friend Blind Tom Harper.
The author is a native of the region he writes about so he brings to the novel a feeling for the period, the climate, and the humanity. Within the seven days in which the novel takes place John Lee is confronted by the surprising news that the woman he loved as a teenager is now married to a violent, fundamentalist deputy sheriff.
He is also surprised to learn that he is heir to Blind Toms forty acre farm on the outskirts of the village. His struggle to readapt himself to the community after years away in college and work as a journalist in Baltimore, Maryland, is made even more challenging by a series of revelations about his own Native American heritage, the peeling away of the superficiality hiding violence and hatred in the community, and the continuing mystical reappearance of Blind Tom.The oppressive heat, the news that Blind Tom was killed by a hit and run driver, his mothers strong and resilient presence in the midst of a community on the edge of disintegration, and the anchoring presence of Blind Toms spirit creates an atmosphere that is filled with humor, tension, passion, violence and murder.
Anchoring much of the story are four old men, storytellers who recite the history and reality of the community with humor and the wisdom of ancient priests. They also involve themselves in the action of the story resulting in humor and arrest. The surprising turn of events as the week passescreates tension and laughter in the reader with an unexpected twist that culminates in a bloody and revelatory ending.