Traveling Light

Andrea Thalasinos

Forge Books

Paula Makaikis is ashamed of her marriage. Driven out of their bedroom by Roger’s compulsive hoarding, she has spent the past ten years sleeping downstairs on her husband’s ratty couch. Distant and uninspired, Paula is more concerned with the robins landing on her office window ledge than her hard-earned position at the university.

Until a phone call changes everything.

A homeless Greek man is dying in a Queens hospital and Paula is asked to come translate. The old man tells her of his beloved dog, Fotis, who bit a police officer when they were separated. Paula has never considered adopting a dog, but she promises the man that she will rescue Fotis and find him a good home. But when Fotis enters her life she finds a companion she can’t live without. Suddenly Paula has a dog, a brand-new Ford Escape, an eight-week leave of absence, and a plan.

So Fotis and Paula begin the longest drive of their lives. In northern Minnesota, something compels her to answer a help-wanted ad for a wildlife rehabilitation center. Soon Paula is holding an eagle in her hands, and the experience leaves her changed forever.

An inspiring story about fate, family, and healing, this novel explores what is possible when we cut the ties that hold us down and the heart is free to soar.

Traveling Light by Andrea Thalasinos is an inspiring story about fate, family, and healing.


Read an Excerpt


It had started out as one of the last quiet days of August. Down on West 4th Street overlooking Washington Square Park, Paula Makaikis worked as director of the Center for Immigrant Studies at NYU. The maples were beginning to singe red and orange; it was the twilight in between seasons right before the start of the new semester, when autumn surprises everyone with the first few mornings of chilly, fresh air.
Paula was struggling to relax by sneaking a cigarette. She stared out the office window, blowing smoke out the sullied bluish-black edge of the window sc


Praise for Traveling Light

Praise for An Echo Through the Snow:

“Destined to become a classic.”
—Susan Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of One Good Dog

“An historic, inspiring, and uplifting race to the finish.”
Modern Dog

“Compelling and evocative.”
—Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. author of The Other End of the Leash

“Powerful debut...stark, gorgeous prose and a timeless story of love realized, lessons learned, and paths taken.”
—Booklist (starred review)

“Beautifully drawn and emotionally resonant.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“An immensely readable story about how dogs heal us and lead us, sometimes through harsh cold and deep snow, to places of great beauty and safety.”
—Stacie Williams, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“Delicate and vivid...an elaborate weaving of past and present.”
—Michelle Diener, author of In a Treacherous Court

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Andrea Thalasinos

  • ANDREA THALASINOS, Ph.D., is a professor of sociology at Madison College. She is the author of An Echo Through the Snow, an inspiring novel that combines her longstanding passions for dogs, nature, and native peoples. Andrea lives and writes in Madison, Wisconsin.

  • Andrea Thalasinos Harriet Chen Photography


Available Formats and Book Details

Traveling Light

Andrea Thalasinos



Forge Books