I do love a good biography and somehow stories about dogs always get to my heart, so this combination of dog story and dog biography really captured my heart.
Nigel is a golden retriever owned by the gardener Monty Don, who if you live in the UK you will know as the face of Gardeners World and other television programmes over the years. I watch Gardeners World fairly regularly for the gardening of course, but I have to confess that I mainly watch it to see Nigel!
In the book Monty fully admits that Nigel is the star of the show and talks about what a great performer to camera he is. Aided mostly by a yellow tennis ball apparently.
This book tells the stories of many - in fact all I think - of the dogs owned by Monty since he was a child right up to his newest dog Nellie. Nellie is also a golden retriever and much naughtier than Nigel is. If you watch the two dogs on television I would swear that you can see Nigel giving Nellie disapproving looks, as though he is saying "that is not what we do in this garden". The obviously love each other though, and the relationship between the two dogs on screen is a lovely one.
While dogs are clearly the star of this book, there are also little anecdotes and stories about Monty's own garden and how his dogs have used the garden, different things they have liked about it, and, in some of the saddest parts, where they now lie at rest in the garden.
If you love a good dog story, and easy read, and are prepared to wield a large box of tissues then you will definitely enjoy this book. You will also enjoy it even if you are not a dog person!
Would I recommend Nigel's story? Yes! Of course. It was a great read and I loved it. This book stays firmly on my shelf and I will definitely read some or all of it again in the future.
What is your favourite dog story? Marley and Me is, of course another favourite of mine!