The Bookanistas: CLEO: THE CAT WHO MENDED A FAMILY
I've never been much of a cat person. Dogs? Oh yes--in fact, apparently when I was in fourth grade, my teacher contacted my parents asking if they could please get me a dog. I guess I wrote about my wish daily in my journal and she felt sorry for me. Quincy, the best dog ever, was the result. Anyway, when we were asked to join the blog tour for CLEO: The Cat Who Mended a Family, I wasn't prepared to fall in love with the book. But I fell. Hard.
Here's what the back cover has to say:
Helen Brown had no intention of adopting a pet when she brought her sons, Sam and Rob, to visit a friend's new kittens. But the runt of the litter was irresistible, with her overlarge ears and dainty chin.
When Cleo was delivered weeks later, she had no way of knowing that her new family had just been hit by a tragedy. Helen was sure she couldn't keep her-until she saw something she thought had vanished from the earth forever: her son's smile The reckless, rambunctious kitten stayed.
Through happiness and heartbreak, changes and new beginnings, Cleo turned out to be the unlikely glue the affectionately held Helen's family together. Rich in wisdom, wit, heart, and healing, here is the story of a cat with an extraordinary gift for knowing just where she was needed the most.
And a bit about the author:
Helen Brown hails from New Zealand, where she worked as a journalist, TV presenter and scriptwriter. Now living in Melbourne, Australia with her family, Helen has been voted Columnist of the Year several times. CLEO rose to the top of the bestseller lists in its first weeks in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia and has been translated into more than eight languages.
This memoir is about so much more than Cleo the cat. It is about life and loss and picking up and moving forward. It is about the strength of a mother, the love for her children and the connection humans can form with animals. At its core, this book is about love.
Helen's life will bring you to tears. I had to stop reading several times to give myself a chance to cry. Her writing is incredibly moving and as she tells her story, it feels as though you're right there living it. As the chapters unfold, her incredible strength will inspire. Brown's ability to make room for this crazy cat enables her grief to take a back seat when she needs it to the most. Cleo's antics help the entire family move forward to begin the healing process. There are certain lines of this memoir that I have shared with others and will never forget. It would make the perfect gift for cat lovers and non-cat lovers alike.