From Katrina Kittle, critically acclaimed author of The Kindness of Strangers, comes a wry and moving story of forgiveness, flexibility, happiness, and the art of moving on.
Veterinarian Cami Anderson has hit a rough patch. Stymied by her recent divorce, she wonders if there are secret ingredients to a happy, long-lasting marriage or if the entire institution is outdated and obsolete. Couples all around her are approaching important milestones. Her parents are preparing to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary. Her brother and his partner find their marriage dreams legally blocked. Her former sister-in-law—still her best friend—is newly engaged. The youthfully exuberant romance of her teenage daughter is developing complications. And three separate men—including her ex-husband—are becoming entangled in Cami's messy post-marital love life.
But as she struggles to come to terms with her own doubts amid this chaotic circus of relationships, Cami finds strange comfort in an unexpected confidant: an angry, unpredictable horse in her care. With the help of her equine soul mate, she begins to make sense of marriage's great mysteries—and its disconnects.
This book reminds me of a quote I have that rotates in my sidebar. The quote is:
"Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have one before us, the labyrinth is fully known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world." — Joseph Campbell (The Hero with a Thousand Faces)The quote really does sum up Cami's journey through this book. And it really is her journey and her story which is the central theme of this book. Of course, as the title suggests, the animals play an important role through her hero journey. The animals in the story are really made 3 dimensional and of course, play a pivotal role in Cami's story. You end up really love these highly visual animal characters in this story and there is at least one tear jerking scene (but it isn't about death, to relax those like me who hate those stories).
Not only is this story about Cami's journey through divorce and how she is saved by her animals and friends, but it is a comment on marriage and love in general. It comments on those, like Cami, who learn that marriage is hard work and can be worth that work. It's also about those that want to be married just for the sake of marriage. This is not only on the part of the woman, but the man as well. There is even a bit about arranged marriage. Plus, there is also a big commentary on gay marriage and adoption. All of this seems like a lot to put in a book, but the way it was done it fits well because it follows Cami's discoveries of those issues.
My only complaint is about her boyfriends. They are wonderful characters until she dates them. Then, they start to become one-dimensional caricatures of themselves. For example, I didn't believe that Vijay, her childhood best friend, was such an insightful person and true friend only to become a totally blind and selfish boyfriend so quickly and throughly. Vijay was my biggest disappointment.
I give this book 4 stars and I do recommend this book. I'm also glad that this book is based on animals that she knew in real life. A short interview below explaining the animals importance in the book.
The author, Katrina will be on Blog Talk Radio today (Aug. 26) at 7pm ET. Just go HERE to listen in! :)