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The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst
(This book is titled Lorelei's Secret outside the U.S. and Canada)
In The Dogs of Babel, Paul Iverson, a linguist, comes home one day to find his wife, Lexy, has fallen to her death from an apple tree in their yard. Did she fall, was she pushed, or was it suicide? The only witness to the tragedy was their dog, Lorelei. There are also puzzling clues in the house that could have only been left behind by Lexy. In a desperate attempt to find answers to his wife's death, Paul tries to teach the dog to talk, using his linguistics background to guide him. The Dogs of Babel moves back and forth between Paul trying to understand and deal with his wife's death, and his remembrances of their life together. Does Lorelei hold the secret to it all? Carolyn Parkhurst's debut novel has received mostly praise from reviewers. The Metro Weekly says, "The Dogs of Babel is a stirring novel about the search for peace through an assemblage of symbols, rearranged books, the history of a redemptive relationship, and the depths of a beloved dog's caring black eyes."