Why We Are Here
When life knocks you down, have faith in Dog.
After her partner and father die in quick succession, BB moves to a glamorous, condemned beachside apartment at the edge of a glittering city so memory-saturated it might be a mirage. Her plan? To rediscover the person she was before finding, and losing, the love of her life. To heal she’ll party like it’s 1999, walk her motley dog, Baby, and surrender to the simple joys of life alone by the sea.
When a neighbour mistakes her for a dog trainer, and enlists her in correcting the murderous tendencies of his Doberman, BB feels close to a meaningful new life. Harnessing the tenets of Cesar Millan the dog whisperer, and other less canine-centric canons, she helps local dogs and their wealthy, oblivious owners to distinguish between the things they can and cannot change. She even takes tentative steps towards new intimacies with safely unavailable Franz, and sultry, free-spirited Vera.
But life in Balboa Bay is increasingly surreal. Baby is sending telepathic messages. A nearby prison quotes philosophers over the intercom. The other dog trainers think BB is scab labour. And somewhere on her street, there’s a dog that sounds like the wind. Cinematic, heart-breaking, and often hilarious, Why We Are Here is a singular love story for strange days. Doyle’s witty prose revels in the solace of the natural world, in conversing with writers who have lost and endured, and above all in the profound connection between a woman and her dog.