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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blog Tour, Day 1: Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family by Helen Brown

Good morning!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!
Today, we are playing host to the first day of a two day stop from a book tour that is sure to grab the attention of many animal lovers out there.  Whether you favor cats, dogs, or something more or less conventional, pets play a key role in most of our lives.  If you don't have one, you almost certainly know someone that does and have probably been the audience of at least one of their fun/wacky/curious (etc) pet stories.  Being a dog owner myself, I can certainly tell you a tale or two.  But I digress, there is time for that later....let's get on with the show!
Today's featured title is....

The Cat Who Mended a Family

(Yes, take a moment and look at the cover.....isn't she CUTE?!  My ARC had a "grown up" picture of her and might I say she doesn't lose an ounce of that beauty over time.)  We begin where so many pet stories begin, with a child's heart felt wish to have something to hold and care for smaller and (seemingly for the most part) more helpless than themselves.  Check and check again when young Sam, the eldest of Helen Brown's two sons, selects one small and alien-like (their words, not mine) furry being from a recent litter of kittens as his want of all wants for his upcoming 9th birthday.  How could she refuse?  Grant it they had a dog (a wonderfully cuddly Goldy....named Rata) and were self-proclaimed "dog people", but really....a child's simple wish and go from being the guardian of member of the canine group to a multi-species household.  No problem.  Parents often move mountains great and small for the desires of their children (Thanks, Mom!).  But what if the foundation of that parental stronghold developed a crack so big, so deep it could rival the Grand Canyon?

One day, the unimaginable happened.  While trying to save the life of an injured animal, her young son was taken from this earth well before his time.  (*moment of silence*) The loss of anyone is felt deeply within our hearts and minds, but in some ways the loss of such a young soul in a random act of fate such as this, affects us even more.  The family was just trying to come to grips with the reality of their situation when who should show up....the cat.  Dubbed 'Cleo' by Sam in his planning days, the little fuzzy ball of wonder arrives on schedule to take her place in their family....but the family is not certain they have room anymore.  Their grief occupies such a large portion of their lives; the new addition is not exactly welcome at this trying time.  Thank goodness cats are accepting little critters full of their own intentions and self-importance.  Thank goodness for the grieving yet open heart of her youngest son, Rob, as he forges a bond with Cleo in the wake of such tragedy.  Thank goodness life moves forward with memory but filled with possibility....

Where to begin!  When reviewing this book, I read the entire thing out loud to a member of my immediate family...dear old Mom.  She's a pet lover herself and so I thought, why not share the magic?  I couldn't have imagined the beauty that lied within the pages of this book.  All the classic words of tender, heartwarming, heart breaking, and the over used and yet so befitting this story. Cleo will work her way into your heart from the very start, lead you on a journey through the ups and downs that is life as conducted by her (you didn't think cats just sat back and watched, did you?), and brings you back to earth heavy hearted (TISSUE WARNING) but full of life and appreciation for the beauty that it holds.

Even now as I type this review, I can't help but tear really is that wonderful.  There are many laugh out loud situations and many tearful ones.  I literally sat there crying, trying to make it through a few me over sensitive but if you've ever had an elderly pet or lost a pet, it hits home...really hard. (Yeah, tearing up now just typing this....)  One quick word to the's an emotional roller coaster in there with highs AND lows, so be sure to have tissues close by.  DO NOT let that in any way detour you from reading this book though.  It is a wonderful story about life, love, loss, and the magic that keeps it this case the work of one small in size but large in heart black cat and the family she brought back to life.  Cleo will forever hold a place in the hearts of this family (as well as my own) and this book shares their loving memories with the world. 

Recommended reading for cat lovers, but really animal lovers in general....I truly believe there is not a person out there that this book cannot resonate with. This title was scheduled for release yesterday (08/31/10), so be on the lookout for it at your favorite retail store or online portal.  Trust me, you won't be sorry.  Special thanks to Rose Marie Morse at InkWell Management for the ARC for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on their goings on, visit their website.  To find out more about the owner behind this touching tale, visit the author's web page

Tomorrow, day two of the blog tour with a special Q & A from the author as well as your chance to win a copy of this wonderful book for yourself! 

Until next time....happy reading!


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

How nice that you read this one aloud to your mom, that is really sweet. I LOVE the cover and the story sounds great too! Thanks for the great review!

Tales of Whimsy said...

Yah for mom! :D

Tales of Whimsy said...

I read mine to my hubby sometimes.

agirlreads said...

Oh! Oh! This book sounds so perfect for me, and that kitty is SO cute!

Thanks for the heads up on this one.

Gina said...

Carrie: was fun, the reading and the book itself. Definitely recommend.

Juju: Really? Small world! Sometimes it works better for a book and other times it's just plain fun to share in the experience. ^_^

agirlsreads: Agreed! If you read it, I'd LOVE to know what you think of it!

The1stdaughter said...

Oh my! This sounds so sad, but such an incredible story of love. And how neat that you could read it to your mom! Loved the review!

Amused said...

What a cute kitty and such a sweet story!

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great story, which I will read! I definately know how a sad heart can be conforted by the feline friend. My kitten did just that when I was grieving for my addict son, and did not know his whereabouts. The cats sensitivities and intuition is remarkable!

Gina said...

jeane: So glad your kitten was able to help you through what must have been a truly tough time. Certainly agree on their intuition...same goes for pups too.

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