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The Blessings of the Animals – Book Review

Once I had examined the fillies, I drove home. I passed the decapitated St. Francis still lying face down in the mud, the shingles scattered in the yard, the branches down everywhere. I walked straight to the barn, where Muriel wandered in the aisle and the biter wouldn’t let me touch him.

What if you thought something was worth saving but you didn’t know where to begin? – from The Blessings of the Animals, page 83 –

Cami Anderson is a busy veterinarian who also volunteers for her local Humane Society on animal rescues. She has no idea her husband Bobby is unhappy until he walks out of their eighteen year marriage one day, leaving her with a barn full of animals in need and a teenage daughter devastated by her parent’s separation. Cami, the animal rescuer, has no idea that the animals who seem so needy will actually save her in the end. A horse named Moonshot, an unruly goat named Muriel, and a three legged cat named Gerald stole my heart in this beautiful novel about moving forward through life’s challenges.

Katrina Kittle introduces the reader to a warm, quirky, and lovable cast of characters in The Blessings of the Animals. I loved Cami – a self-assured, middle-aged woman who must re-think her life in the wake of divorce; a woman who turns to the animals in her care for comfort when she discovers that she can not do it all on her own. Her personal journey was one to which I related having traveled through divorce and found my happiness again at the age of forty.

The novel takes on the issues of divorce and its impact on children, the resiliency of the human spirit in the face of loss, friendship, gay marriage and adoption, and animal abuse and neglect. For those of you, like me, who have a hard time reading about abused animals…don’t worry – Kittle handles this subject deftly and with sensitivity and shows the positive side of animal rescue. I loved the spunky goat Muriel, whose dog-like qualities and lively spirit made me want to run out immediately and get a goat!

Kittle’s prose is seamless. The pages of this novel almost turn themselves. I was carried away into Cami’s world effortlessly. At times, I forgot I was reading a book and felt like the characters were real people. Any writer who can do that gets high praise from me. Kittle is the author of three previous novels which I will absolutely be picking up in the future.

Readers who love animals and great characters will be captivated by The Blessings of the Animals.

Highly recommended.

FTC Disclosure: I picked up this book at the 2010 BEA to review on my blog.

Clicking on the link below will take you to Indiebound where you can find a link to purchase The Blessings of the Animals from an Indie Bookstore. If you chose to purchase the book in this manner, I will earn a small commission based on the sale.


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10 Comments

  1. September 30, 2010    

    So glad to hear that you liked this book! I picked this book up from the SIBA Trade Show in Daytona Beach last weekend and can’t wait to read it!

  2. September 30, 2010    

    I really enjoyed this book too, even though I had a few minor qualms with it.

  3. October 1, 2010    

    I loved this book and thought that Kittle did a really great job with it. There were some sections that niggled, but overall I thought it was excellent. So glad that you loved it as well. Your review was wonderful!

  4. October 1, 2010    

    Book Chick: Oh, I hope you’ll love it as I did!

    Kathy: Glad to hear you also enjoyed the book. I’m curious – what were your quibbles?

    Zibilee: Thanks! Glad you also loved the book!

  5. October 1, 2010    

    I so must get a copy of this one. Loved her debut book and this one sounds stellar!

  6. October 4, 2010    

    This sounds like such a wonderful book. I love animal rescue stories. I’ve had this one on my TBR for a little while and can’t wait to get to it.

  7. October 5, 2010    

    I really liked this book. Nice review!

  8. October 10, 2010    

    Staci: I really need to read more of this author’s work! Glad to hear her first book is also really good.

    Jeane: If you love animal rescue stories, you’ll LOVE this one!

    Mary: Thanks!

  9. October 10, 2010    

    Thank you so very much for this lovely, generous review! So happy you enjoyed the novel. I just got my hands on a copy of ROOM and can’t wait to dive in! Many thanks.

  10. October 10, 2010    

    Katrina: Thank you so much for stopping by – your book was such a pleasure to read and review (and I can’t wait to get copies of your previous books now!). Hope you’ll love Room as I did – it is an astonishing, haunting novel!

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