Every Night, Josephine! is a autobiographical story about a woman who gets a poodle after desperately wanting one for so long. She gets the toy poodle Josephine ("Josie") after endless search for the right one. The novel is full of adventures with Josephine, life living with a poodle, and how life was for wealthy people in the sixties.
I really loved this book for so many reasons. Like many events that happen in the lives of Jackie, Irving (her husband), and Josie, Josie without a doubt steals the show. I am actually a toy poodle owner myself, which is why my fiancé came home with this book for me from the library. He thought I'd like to read it, since i am always talking about how I wish there were more books with story/plot about poodles, and he was right I loved it.
My favorite part of the book is Josie, of course. The way Jacqueline writes Josie's personality makes her sound so much like my toy poodle, Rolo. From the description of them both being small with very emotion filled "human like" eyes, their constant need for painfully jabbing with their paw to get more belly rubs, and to how charming and sweet they are. Josie seemed like such a sweetheart, and I couldn't help but cuddle my boy a little tighter while reading about her.
There were times, where I would get upset with her and her husband for some of their pet owning decisions, but I had to remember that it's set in the sixties, and I'm assuming people weren't as informed as they are now. One big thing that bothered me was their lack of discipline when it came to keeping Josie on her doctor ordered diet when she reached such a high weight (there was a moment where Josie, a toy poodle, was 25 pounds!) and it made me worried for Josie's health. However, I had to make myself let it go, I knew that Josie lived until she was shy four days of her sixteenth birthday, which is a pretty great age for a toy poodle in the sixties.
Two photos of my pup, Rolo. For reference, not at all because I want to brag about how cute my dog is.
However, from the way Jacqueline writes about getting Josie, Josie's personality, and the lengths she went to convince her husband to keep Josie (more on that later) you can absolutely tell that she loved her dog. I didn't for a moment think that Jacqueline and Irving didn't love Josie. Josie was absolutely spoiled which is exactly how any pet should be. I thought it was so cute how Irving was so against Josie, but then all of a sudden he is this protector daddy to Josie who is shelling out money left and right to get her anything she wants. It was sweet, and I really loved seeing his opinion change about poodles as he got to know Josie.
I did have an issue connecting with our main character when it came to everything other than loving Josie, because I am not a rich woman living in New York in the sixties. I couldn't help but roll my eyes at some of the extremes she goes through to get her way, and it reminded me of old shows like I Love Lucy and how over the top everything is. It's cute and charming but not always realistic for someone like me who wasn't alive in the sixties. I did really enjoy learning about Jacqueline Susann's world, and I found it extremely interesting.
I also want to quickly mention that Jacqueline Susann was really an amazing story teller. I loved her writing style and the way she told stories. I have never heard her speak, but it was like she wrote the way she spoke which I found perfect for this kind of story. Her descriptions and dialogue was great, and she was clearly very funny.
There's a lot of history with this book, especially with it coming from the library. I realized the library end cards were still in the back of the book even if the library is all digital now. And it was really cool to think of readers in the seventies borrowing this book from the library. It was strange for me to think that this book was in the hands of people living in the seventies and it kind of blew my mind.
End card from the back of the book.
Overall, I really loved this book. It was sweet and endearing and made me love my toy poodle even more, if that's even possible. I recommend this book to all pet lovers, dog lovers, or just poodle lovers! It's a great fun book.