When his wife Lexy falls from a tree and dies, linguistics professor Paul Iverson is determined to find out exactly what happened. Was the tragedy an accident or suicide? The family dog, Lorelei, witnessed the fall, and Paul tries to teach the animal to talk so that he can find out what really occurred on that fateful day. Parkhurst skillfully presents Paul's story in brief chapters, alternating between his attempts to teach Lorelei to speak and memories of his relationship with the beautiful, impulsive Lexy, an artist who made masks. The book has moments of old-fashioned romance, but it's also disturbing. Parkhurst's depiction of a secret group of scientists who conduct illegal experiments on dogs is chilling. Unforgettable and original, this one-of-a-kind debut was a Today show Book Club selection. A reading group guide is available online at www.twbookmark.com.