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The Great Escape- book 1 of serial Good Boy, Ingo


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The Great Escape is a must-read that at its core is a heartwarming tale of unconditional love.

Something that got me into reading when I was a little girl, was books about dogs. Sure, I cried a few times while reading them but I loved them nonetheless. When I came across The Great Escape by Lani Gavin, I was naturally intrigued by the premise, and as someone who loves not only reading stories about dogs, but dogs themselves; I was excited to read it.


The Great Escape is told from the perspective of Ingo, a beautiful golden Cocker Spaniel, with The Gift of understanding human speech; and while there is no way for us to know or understand what goes inside a dog’s mind, Lani Gavin does a great job in conveying this through her writing. The more I read this story, the more I connected with the characters, especially Ingo. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for dogs, but the way Lani Gavin depicted Ingo’s innocence and curiosity as he grows up, it truly made me care for Ingo more than I thought I would.


As I’ve mentioned before, the writing in this story was marvelous. It is clear in the writing that the author has a great love for animals. You can feel that as the story unfolds and getting that emotion from the writing made the story even more impactful to me. The plot was interesting and the characters were great. The illustrations found throughout the book are lovely, I’m not sure who made, but they are beautiful!


Without any doubt I can say that The Great Escape is a definite must read for people of all ages, especially if you are someone who loves dogs like myself. At its core, this is a heartwarming tale of unconditional love between a woman and her dog. I am happy to know that this is the first book in a series because I want to read more about Ingo, and I cannot wait for the follow up. I will certainly be recommending this story to everyone I can as this was a fun and simple read, with a lot of depth that shows us great values like responsibility, empathy, love and of course, friendship.

And we are never too old to be reminded of the importance of those values.  

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I love reading and sharing my thoughts with others to encourage them to read something they might not know existed or perhaps had some misconceptions about the work. I also love discovering the hidden gems of the literary world.


In the World of the imaginary Eastern Block Morania, in the old communist regime years, Ingo—the whimsical protagonist—brings to light with innocence, charm, and humor the socio-political reality and inevitable conflicts.

His mother told him, his goal in life should be to have the companionship, friendship, and love of a good master. Blessed with The Gift of understanding human speech—a touch of magic realism—Ingo becomes instrumental in helping his master Lani defect from Morania to America. The book promotes moral values—honesty, devotion, compassion, and love in a humorous and, at times.
This stern and troubling subject is an amusing yet educational read.

In book 1 of the series—The Great Escape—we get to know the character Ingo, the protagonist and mastermind of several contemporary adventure books to follow.

The Great Escape is written in first-person POV—presenting life through a dog’s eyes—has about 28,000 words presented in 15 chapters.
This Middle-Grade (8-12) realistic fiction book with spot B&W illustrations is also expected to resonate with all dog lovers, regardless of age.
Suppose you have a taste for whimsical, absurdist humor; you don’t shy away from heavy, darker subjects related to trauma and displacement. In that case, you will like this book.

About the author

llana is a Transylvanian-born American. She earned a Master’s Degree in Architecture and escaped in 1983 to NYC. As the Project Architect for the Times Square Tower in NY, she led the supervision of the skyscraper’s construction. She currently lives with her husband and pets in Ajijic, Mexico. view profile

Published on November 23, 2021

30000 words

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Genre: Middle Grade

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