“Dreams and aspirations in our lives are often the catalysts that lead to great accomplishments that benefit the world in which we live.” – Walter R. Hoge, DVM, and author of McEaster Valley.
Easter: McEaster Valley invites readers to look back on the majesty of Mother Earth and imagine living a perfect life without compensation. Hoge’s universal message, dedicated to his children, is that the richest life everyone should expect to live is a life of commitment without expecting any profit or financial benefit.
The Book: Its Theme and Content
This unique and earthy tale is reminiscent of William P. Young’s The Shack, in that it was written to the authors’ children. It is an animal story with moral lessons that let the readers see through that there is more to life than glitter and gold and that sometimes, the places where we get lost are exactly where we need to be. What distinguishes Hoge’s fable is that it excites the imagination and conjures wonderment in the natural world in all its simple complexities. Whatever it is Hoge found in McEaster Valley, he shares with his readers this: If we respect the community in which we live, take care of our planet, and learn more about its nature, it may well yield clues that will help us live healthier, happier lives.
“I tried to show what my feelings are for, in the best in people and the best in life and doing things for the best of causes and also respecting the environment because it provides for us. There are so many things we could do without damaging it. I think that’s the really basic theme of it.” – Dr. Walter R. Hoge
The Book’s Inspiration and How it came to be
Walter conveyed in one of his interviews that when his wife passed away from cancer, he had a lot of thoughts in mind. He had all those thoughts about things that were important to him, how wonderful the life he had. And so one day, he just sat down and started writing Easter: McEaster Valley. He thought about this book because it seemed like when he was telling stories to his kids, the ones they liked the best were about McEaster Valley, one of his makeup stories. Also, Dr. Hoge received from his mother a deep love of the land and nature, an interest in the outdoors, and a love for animals. He spoke about her, “ She was raised near the Snake River on a ranch in Pingree, Idaho. Right across the river, there was an Indian reservation. Mom would always tell me all these stories about taking care of the cattle and all these types of things.”
Thus, he had lots of experiences with animals from farm animals to wallabies and mud dogs. “I always wanted to be involved with animals. Fortunately, I was able to go into a career, which is basically just who I am.”
The book came to be because of Walter’s mother-in-law. Dr. Hoge, who had remarried, recounted driving with his wife and mother-in-law in a car. While traveling during Memorial Day weekend his wife read the manuscript of Easter: McEaster Valley to his mother-in-law and she said, “You need to write this book.”
About Dr. Walter R. Hoge
Walter R. Hoge received his doctorate in veterinary medicine from Purdue University before practicing small animal veterinary medicine at Camden Pet Hospital. Published in several scientific journals, Easter: McEaster Valley is his first book. A proud father to five grown children and now seventeen grandchildren, he lives in San Jose, California. San Jose is a large city surrounded by rolling hills in Silicon Valley, a major technology hub in California’s Bay Area.