Review – Lily and the octopus by Steven Rowley

Lily and the octopus by Steven Rowley
Published: 7. June 2016 by Simon & Schuster
Genres: Fiction/Animals/Contemporary/Dogs/Adult Fiction/LGBT
Pages: 320img_1988

The back of the book reads:

“When you sit down with Lily and the Octopus, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride.The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details.

We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without.For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog. 

Lily and the Octopus reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all.”

Lily and the Octopus is Steven Rowleys debut novel, and after what can only be described as social media stalking I have found that it looks like it’s based on a true story. Which would describe why the book is so full of heart, because a heart has truly been poured into it.


I have to agree that I don’t want to give away details, for half the joy for me was discovering it as I read it. I knew nothing about it beforehand, I simply picked up a green book with a dachshund on it titled Lily and the octopus and started reading. (Ok fine, I saw it on the goodreads list of semifinalists for 2016 fiction, but I didn’t know anything about the storyline!)

I will say this: It’s effortless to read, it flows off the page and into your heart. The voice of Ted Flask comes off to me as a very sweet and caring introvert. It makes me feel like I’m a friend of his, sitting on the sidelines, observing with love, carefully let in.

It is also worth mentioning that it is a beautiful addition to an emerging genre we’re calling LGBT. It’s worth mentioning, but it is not necessary. The only reason why I would mention it, is because while many other LGBT books focus on the differences and how hard it is to overcome certain issues, this book doesn’t separate in that sense. And while I think literature on the topic of LGBT and all it’s challenges is important, I find it equally important with literature that ignores the topic all together and simply shows that life is just the same for all of us. We all love, we all grieve and we all have our challenges regardless of sex, race and any other preferences in life.

As much as the story is about a man and his dog, I also believe it’s about life. About living your life and having the courage to go out of your comfort zone. About the people in your life and your relationships to them, and how those relationships depend on how you treat them, just as much as it depends on how they treat you. It’s a universal story that I think anyone can relate to. I know I did, and I’m not male, gay or owner of a dachshund.

It’s such a special book, it’s delightfully peculiar, and it makes you laugh just as easily as it makes you cry. 

I would recommend this book to anyone with a heart!