From New York Times bestselling author Susan Wilson comes What a Dog Knows, another heartwarming novel about humans and the dogs that change our lives.

Ruby Heartwood has always lived a life on the move. As a traveling psychic, she makes her living working at carnivals and festivals and circuses around New England. It’s a life Ruby has made peace with―settling in one place has never been for her. She needs no one, and no one needs her.

Until one night, when she is camped by the side of the road in her trusty Volkswagon “Westie” van, a fierce thunder and lightning storm erupts. In the middle of the downpour, she hears a distinct voice telling her to “let me in.” In jumps a little black and white dog, and to Ruby’s astonishment, she can hear the dog’s thoughts. Has she been struck by lightning? Did the storm do this? Is she losing her mind?

It turns out, Ruby can hear many dogs’ thoughts. She decides to set up semi-permanent residency in the town of Harmony Farms, until she can sort out what is going on, and who the little dog, Hitch, belongs to. But some people in Harmony Farms don’t want her there. And it seems that events keep preventing Ruby from leaving. What secrets is this town keeping? Why was she meant to find this dog? And what has Ruby really been running from, all these years?

This was such a wonderful story about life and the amazing love of a dog.

Ruby has been alone her whole life. From being abandoned on the steps of a convent, to the transient carnival life; she has had to fight her way through all manners of difficulties and strife. With all this, Ruby came out the other side as an amazingly strong woman with a good head on her shoulders.

One night while talk refuge in a date park to wait out a spring storm, Ruby takes in a hitchhiker in the form of a cute little dog that, quite literally, speaks to her.

I loved the psychic abilities and references in this novel. I’m a huge believer in people having premonitions and feelings about the world around them. The author does a great job in writing both the sceptics and the believers in this book, all the while keeping Ruby a very realistic character.

Hitchhiker quickly became a huge part of the novel (obviously with the title). She had great thoughts and I loved ‘hearing’ them. I really looked forward to the separate paragraphs with Hitch’s thoughts.

I also really enjoyed all the different personalities that the author put into the dogs that Ruby helped communicate with. Every dog has their own personality and each breed is categorised as having a certain type as well. I’m so happy that the author took all this into account when writing the dogs, as well as not fall into the general stereotype.

The journey of the novel is primarily a search for self, while searching for family. Knowing where your roots lie is such a huge thing for people. It’s the reason there’s so many DNA trackers, find-my-phone apps, and social media’s. Everyone wants to feel connected.

I greatly enjoyed this novel and I am so glad that I was approached by NetGalley to read and review this novel.

SUSAN WILSON is the author of ten novels, including the New York Times bestselling One Good Dog. In her most recent novel, TWO GOOD DOGS, the two main characters from One Good Dog, Adam March and his rescued pit bull Chance, make a return. She lives on Martha’s Vineyard.

Visit her online at

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