It may not be earth-shattering, but it’s something. And I think to myself, if dogs can be rehabilitated, can learn to love and trust again, maybe we can, too. – from Free to a Good Home, page 288 –
Noelle Ryan finds herself mourning the loss of her husband who leaves her for another man, and aching for the child she is unable to conceive. She lavishes love on her huge, Great Dane Zeke, and throws herself into her work as a veterinary technician at a Rhode Island animal shelter – raising funds for the shelter’s expansion and finding homes for abandoned animals. When her ex-husband, Jay, manipulates her into caring for his mother Margaret who has been recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Noelle wonders how she will manage this new responsibility – especially since Margaret has never tried to contain her dislike of Noelle. But what begins as a year of sadness, evolves into a year of healing…and the discovery that love is still possible if you just keep moving forward.
Eve Marie Mont’s debut novel explores infertility, homosexuality, animal rescue, disability, women’s friendships, and the ambivalent nature of familial love. Structured to take the reader through the twelve months of one year, the story revolves around Noelle’s conflicted feelings toward her ex-husband, and her torturous journey from heartbreak to recovery. Noelle is a character who typifies many women: the nurturer who is unable to say “no” when someone needs her, the dreamer who longs for children and the perfect home, the betrayed who is afraid to become vulnerable again. There were moments when I found myself wanting to reach into the pages of the book and shake her. Luckily, Mont has a wry sense of humor which she puts to good use in the novel, and she rescues Noelle from becoming the stereotypical female.
Free to a Good Home is an enjoyable read. Many of the issues central to the book are serious, yet Mont keeps things fairly light. My favorite character was Margaret, Noelle’s ex-mother-in-law, whose sharp tongue and sharper wit made me like her despite her difficult personality. I found the sections dealing with Margaret’s physical decline believable and heart-felt. I also liked the push-and-pull relationship which develops between Noelle and Margaret.
Despite the minor progress we’ve made in the past few months, I have to keep reminding myself that our relationship is like that of two former rival nations that have entered a truce for the purposes of their mutual benefit: we don’t really trust each other; we try to meet somewhere in the middle but usually end up miles apart. – from Free to a Good Home, page 104 –
Free to a Good Home will appeal to readers who enjoy women’s fiction and light, fun books; as well as for those readers who love animals (specifically dogs).
Other blog reviews:
- Book N Around
- Bermuda Onion
- Shooting Stars Mag
- 5 Minutes for Books
- My Random Acts of Reading
- Savvy Verse and Wit
If you have reviewed this book, please leave me a link to your review in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.
FTC Disclosure: This book was sent to me by the publisher for review on my blog.
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