Oh my GOD. You should read this book because:
1. If I was still working at the store, I'd be handing it to pretty much every customer that walked in the door. I'd also be blathering about it to all of my co-workers until they read the thing out of self-defense.
2. I was warned by a friend that "you must be prepared to bawl your eyes out. In the delicious kind of way". That was a huge understatement. I read the whole book this morning before work--by the time I was done, my shirt was drenched with tears. I'm talking about big gasping sobs, not little weenie sobs. I thought I was going to die. Don't get me wrong. There were laughing parts, too. But ultimately, "tearjerker" is not a strong enough term.
3. Then, when I got here, I told a co-worker about it and started crying all over again.
I loved it. At first it kind of reminded me of Because of Winn-Dixie, but Comfort's voice and the relationships between the characters were so different that the W-D similarities pretty much ended with the southern setting and the dog.
I don't want to give anything away. Just read it. It's wonderful. <SOB>.
(PS. C.C., Mali would love this one, I think.)