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A three dog life
Abigail Thomas
Adult Nonfiction PS3570.H53 Z46 2006

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Stephen King's front-cover endorsement of Thomas's memoir as the best he's ever readand a "punch to the heart"will surely pique interest in this wrenching, elegiac portrait of her third husband, Rich, who flounders in a miasmic present after a hit-and-run in their Manhattan neighborhood shatters his skull, destroys his short-term memory and consigns him to permanent brain trauma. A deft balance of fevered pathos and dark humor link this memoir, in spirit and theme, to Safekeeping, Thomas's collected vignettes that memorialize her second husband. But Thomas also finds wellsprings of inspiration in her tragicomic interactions with Rich and in the self-reliance she's forced to develop, aided by her faithful dogs (the book's title adapts an aboriginal phrase, derived from the tradition of cuddling with dogs on frigid nights). Richhimself reminiscent of a Stephen King eccentricutters eerily prescient, absurdly poetic non sequiturs, probing the essence of time and love with ingenuous intuition, though his acute paranoia and confusion make these exchanges truly heartbreaking. Thomas's quick-cutting chronology and confessional narration subtly re-enacts the soupiness of her husband's mind, even as she quietly thanks him for the wisdom of living in the present. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Approximately five years ago, Thomas's (Safekeeping) husband, Rich, was hit by a car, a trauma that left him with an erratic memory and injuries requiring institutionalization. In this heart-wrenching memoir, Thomas tells of her struggles to build a new life. She and Rich met through a New York Review of Books ad when he was 57 and she was 46. It took her about five minutes to realize this was the nicest man in the world and he asked [her] to marry him thirteen days later. A writer and teacher, she moved from New York City to a smaller town to be closer to Rich. She added two more dogs to her family, learned to knit, and found support in unexpected places. More important, she faced her guilt, turning it into a quiet gratitude and finding the necessary emotional resources for survival. In lesser hands, their backstory might have seemed sentimental or cloying, but Thomas balances the reader's need to know with sensible boundaries that are respectful of privacy. This is highly recommended reading for all caregivers and healthcare professionals.-- Pam Kingsbury, Florence, AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

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