book cover of Familiaris
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(The second book in the Sawtelle Family series)
A novel by

Oprah’s Book Club Pick for Summer 2024

The follow-up to the beloved #1 New York Times bestselling modern classic The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Familiaris is the stirring origin story of the Sawtelle family and the remarkable dogs that carry the Sawtelle name.

It is spring 1919, and John Sawtelle’s imagination has gotten him into trouble … again. Now John and his newlywed wife, Mary, along with their two best friends and their three dogs, are setting off for Wisconsin’s northwoods, where they hope to make a fresh start—and, with a little luck, discover what it takes to live a life of meaning, purpose, and adventure. But the place they are headed for is far stranger and more perilous than they realize, and it will take all their ingenuity, along with a few new friends—human, animal, and otherworldly—to realize their dreams.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, mysterious and enchanting, Familiaris takes readers on an unforgettable journey from the halls of a small-town automobile factory, through an epic midwestern firestorm and an ambitious WWII dog-training program, and far back into mankind’s ancient past, examining the dynamics of love and friendship, the vexing nature of families, the universal desire to create something lasting and beautiful, and of course, the species-long partnership between Homo sapiens and Canis familiaris.

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"A story-telling bonfire as enthralling in its pages as it is illuminating of our fragile and complicated humanity. Familiaris is as expansive and enlightening a saga as has ever been written." - Tom Hanks

"I adore Familiaris. David Wroblewski is such a wonderfully inventive writer, he knows so much - how to test a tractor, how to make a table, how to borrow money, how to see the future - but best of all he is a writer of extraordinary characters, human and canine, who will take up residence in your mind and heart. A dazzling and irresistible novel." - Margot Livesey

"Tender, ambitious, fierce, deeply human, and of course wonderfully canine, David Wroblewski's second novel is an American tour de force. A story spun out over generations, to be read for generations, this is a big brave book that is old-fashioned in the very best sense of the word." - Colum McCann

"David Wroblewski is one of the few contemporary authors who can create a world that the reader doesn't merely visit but fully inhabits. And what a world it is, rich with love and joy and heartbreak. And wonder, especially in the way human and canine form inseparable bonds. It has been a long wait for a new Wroblewski novel. The wait is worth it." - Ron Rash

"Suppose you could do one impossible thing," John Sawtelle says in David Wroblewski's stunning new novel Familiaris. What would you do? Clearly, what the author would do and has done is write this impossibly wise, impossibly ambitious, impossibly beautiful book." - Richard Russo

"No writer understands the depths of dogs' natures the way David Wroblewski does, and once again we have a vital, absorbing, and remarkable fiction fuelled by this understanding. Familiaris is a rare novel, modest and epic." - Joan Silber

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