The Dog Walkers
To be published by Adelaide Books in March 2022
Ali Doyle, a thirty-two-year-old engineer, discovers her boyfriend – who is also the legal counsel at the suburban Philadelphia software company where she works – has no intention of marrying her. After an uncharacteristically emotional confrontation, Ali ends this two-year relationship. However, the fear of seeing her ex at work and losing all control causes her to feign an illness, self-isolating in her apartment. At first, she’s fine with the solitude, but when Ali tries to leave, she’s incapable of venturing outside.
Yet, while feeling lost and hopeless in this self-quarantined state, Ali discovers solace to her loneliness by watching dog walkers from her front window. In an effort to find human connection, she creates imaginative back stories for these strangers and their pets. Ultimately, it’s her concern for an elderly gentleman and his golden retriever, as well as advice from an unexpected voice inside of her head, that give her the strength to leave her apartment building and begin her journey to wellness.
As Ali reemerges from her isolated state, she meets several of The Dog Walkers, learning their real names and true identities. Through this process, she forms friendships, finds guidance, and eventually falls in love. But most importantly, Ali recovers the missing pieces of herself that she had given away as she confidently learns to release boundaries, surrender control, and establish trust.