A Book Pairing
If you are an animal lover and care for sentimental, feel-good books, these two novels are the perfect answer. I will be honest and tell you that I cried for both, especially towards the end. Even though the plot is different between them, they share a spool of themes. In each story the main protagonist is a young woman who is dealing with grief (from losing a loved one) and living in New York City. The pet they take on helps them see the importance of what they may have taken for granted and the human-animal bond is also strengthened. Both books show the perspective of either the dog (Einstein) or the cat (Prudence), respectively—which gives the reader their point of view. However, they reveal the human’s voice or side too, alternating between chapters, so you really get an all-round sense of what is happening and you feel more empathy for everyone involved. In Lee’s novel, Emily is struggling to cope with the death of her husband while finding companionship in a small dog (who—get this—houses the spirit of her dead spouse). Not only that, but Emily starts to find out shocking secrets about his past that she never imagined possible. Einstein is the scruffy dog who needs to redeem himself in order to find peace with his human mistakes, when he was married to Emily. Cooper’s story is about Laura, a hard-working lady in a reputable law firm, who grew up with her single mom (Sarah) during a difficult financial period. When Sarah dies suddenly, her cat is given to Laura as part of the will and Laura eventually finds out that love should always come before money. It takes Prudence getting sick that lifts the fog of pain and anger from Laura. Although these two stories do not take place during the Christmas holidays, they are great reads to consider during this time of year because of the message that is conveyed. I was pleasantly surprised at how good both books were. They should definitely receive more attention!