The Blessings of the Animals [NOOK Book]

Overview

From Katrina Kittle, critically acclaimed author of The Kindness of Strangers, comes a wry and moving story of forgiveness, flexibility, happiness, and the art of moving on.

Veterinarian Cami Anderson has hit a rough patch. Stymied by her recent divorce, she wonders if there are secret ingredients to a happy, long-lasting marriage or if the entire institution is outdated and obsolete. Couples all around her are approaching important milestones. Her parents are preparing to ...

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The Blessings of the Animals

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Overview

From Katrina Kittle, critically acclaimed author of The Kindness of Strangers, comes a wry and moving story of forgiveness, flexibility, happiness, and the art of moving on.

Veterinarian Cami Anderson has hit a rough patch. Stymied by her recent divorce, she wonders if there are secret ingredients to a happy, long-lasting marriage or if the entire institution is outdated and obsolete. Couples all around her are approaching important milestones. Her parents are preparing to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary. Her brother and his partner find their marriage dreams legally blocked. Her former sister-in-law—still her best friend—is newly engaged. The youthfully exuberant romance of her teenage daughter is developing complications. And three separate men—including her ex-husband—are becoming entangled in Cami's messy post-marital love life.

But as she struggles to come to terms with her own doubts amid this chaotic circus of relationships, Cami finds strange comfort in an unexpected confidant: an angry, unpredictable horse in her care. With the help of her equine soul mate, she begins to make sense of marriage's great mysteries—and its disconnects.

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Editorial Reviews

Yvonne Zipp
…entertaining…Cami has a wry likability that carries the novel over too many romantic entanglements, and, refreshingly, Kittle doesn't believe in fairy tales.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Beginning with the end of Cami Anderson's marriage, Kittle (The Kindness of Strangers) wades through heartache and tragedy yet manages to find elegance and charm in her latest novel. Cami's distress is palpable as she deals with her husband's seemingly inexplicable decision to leave her and their teenage daughter, Gabriella. Juggling her veterinary practice, her now cynical daughter, and her own feelings takes up all of Cami's time but she soon realizes that she has no monopoly on struggle: her brother and his male partner lose their adopted daughter to the child's biological mother. Cami taps into her own experience with loss to help the couple, which leads her to take a more honest look at her marriage and the new life ahead of her. While Cami stumbles through post-divorce dating and raising Gabriella, her family of animals--horses, cats, dogs, and a goat--provide respite. Cami's reflections, in tandem with those of delightful friends, present a long-view of the nature of marriage and relationships. (Aug.)
Lesley Kagen
“Wonderfully poignant characters and a deeply satisfying exploration of love in its many incarnations, some of them a bit furrier than others, make this novel Katrina Kittle’s most insightful yet. Don’t miss it!”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062006790
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/3/2010
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 33,901
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Katrina Kittle

Katrina Kittle is the author of Traveling Light, Two Truths and a Lie, and The Kindness of Strangers, which received the Great Lakes Book Award for Fiction. She lives in Dayton, Ohio.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 60 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Joy To Read

    Veterinarian Cami Anderson returns from a horse rescue to find her husband of eighteen years packing. To her shock, he tells her he is moving out. Even more shocking, within a week she discovers that he is living with a girl not much older than their daughter, a young woman that Cami had employed at her practice.

    The Blessings Of The Animals follows Cami's life after this door slams shut on a big piece of her life. Readers get a viseral sense of what this kind of betrayal feels like. The book explores the depths of her shock, anger and despair, and how she begins to move beyond the nightmare to carve out a new life that expands her horizons and brings her contentment, love and even joy.

    Kittle fills the book with vibrant characters. There is Gabrielle, the couple's smart, vivacious teenage daughter who reacts by breaking up with her longtime boyfriend and refusing to let anyone get close. Cami's birth family is introduced. Her patrician mother and father, who raised her in the horse-racing and training business, show up in stark contrast to her ex-inlaws, who are a extroverted, noisy and nosy bunch. Her brother is gay and in a relationship that seems very stable. Friends surround Cami, from her best female friend to a male doctor friend who has been in her life since childhood, and who now wants to make the friendship something more serious.

    Then there are the animals. There is Moonshot, the horribly abused stallion she rescued that day, who comes back to life and health under Cami's care, all the while restoring her own sense of well-being. There is a comic goat, a rescued three-legged ginger tom, and various other dogs and horses and donkeys. The animals unfreeze her heart and help her remember what she loved about her career.

    What a joy it is to find a book that you can't wait to pick back up! Kittle's deft portrayal of this common situation and her insight into how life can start over will strike a chord in readers. This book is highly recommended for all readers.

    17 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Must read for not only animal lovers, but for anyone who has found courage to come back from heartbreak and find love again, without reservation, without fear.

    Veterinarian Cami Anderson has hit a rough patch. Stymied by her recent divorce, she wonders if there are secret ingredients to a happy, long-lasting marriage or if the entire institution is outdated and obsolete. Couples all around her are approaching important milestones. Her parents are preparing to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary. Her brother and his partner find their marriage dreams legally blocked. Her former sister-in-law-still her best friend-is newly engaged. The youthfully exuberant romance of her teenage daughter is developing complications. And three separate men-including her ex-husband-are becoming entangled in Cami's messy post-marital love life.

    But as she struggles to come to terms with her own doubts amid this chaotic circus of relationships, Cami finds strange comfort in an unexpected confidant: an angry, unpredictable horse in her care. With the help of her equine soul mate, she begins to make sense of marriage's great mysteries-and its disconnects.

    My Review:

    I loved the story that is woven throughout the pages of this novel, The Blessings Of The Animals by Katrina Kittle even though there are elements about it you may not care for. One of these is the gay marriage between Cami's brother Davy to his partner David and their subsequent attempted adoption of a child. This is something that goes against my beliefs but I found that I could still enjoy the story of Cami and her daughter, Gabriella, as they struggle to find a way to keep their farm intact while going through a rough divorce from her ex husband Bobby.

    Since dealing with this exact situation in my own personal life, I could relate to Cami's struggle to see her husband leaving and divorcing her as something as a blessing of a life to come. The wonderful parallel between a horse she has rescued from an abusive woman as part of an animal control raid, teaches her through the love and compassion of caring for a wounded horse, that she too can learn to trust and love again. There are so many great parts of this book, between all the animals that Cami gets stuck with caring for when no one else will and besides the horse, Moonshot, is the relationship she has with Muriel her beloved goat.

    This story truly is a must read for anyone that has that unique connection with animals and the love that coexists between us and them in our own language of love. I received this book compliments of TLC Book Tours for my honest review and would still rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars for the story content.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    A pleasure to read!

    Any animal lover knows the many blessings they are. Cami is a veterinarian and this is the connection for her love of animals. What humans can't seem to give naturally animals can. This is one of those starting over kind of books with heartfelt life lessons that bring the tears to sting the eyes. When her husband, Bobby, a chef and restaurant owner, leaves her for a young waitress, she has to explain it to her 17 year old daughter somehow. Cami's solace is her brood of misfit rescue animals who in the end are responsible for teaching her what she was searching for. This is a joy to read and one to remember.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    BLAH

    When searching for new books, I often look to authors that I truly enjoyed in the past, and search for recommended books that are written by "like" authors. Katrina Kittle is one such author. After much review I chose this selection, "The Blessings of the Animals". I was very disappointed in this novel. It lacked depth, character development and really did not have much of a plot. Come to think of it a BLAH book. You know what I mean, you don't hate it but don't like it either, and in six months you will have forgotten you ever read it. Too many good books out there to waste your time.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a profound look at relationships through mostly the eyes of someone who realizes the healing Blessings of the Animals

    In Ohio, after eighteen years of marriage her husband Bobby leaves veterinarian Cam Anderson and their teenage daughter Gabriella. When Sheriff Metz calls for her help with dead and dying horses, Bobby ends their marriage rationalizing if she only asked him to help.

    That same afternoon, she knows it is over with Bobby when she catches him with a younger woman. Despondent, Cam notices other successful relationships like her parents celebrating their golden wedding anniversary; her BFF (Bobby's sister) is engaged to a nice man, and her gay brother Davy and his for life mate are adopting a child. She distrusts her heart as being fickle, but soon learns she is not alone with broken dreams when Davy's adoption plans fail and her daughter Gabriella has turned from sweet to caustic sour. Still as she helps a cranky geriatric horse, she reflects on her life and where she wants it to go; concluding with the ironic help of her horsy patient so far in spite of Bobby's desertion, it's a wonderful life especially with other men vying to enter it.

    This is a profound look at relationships through mostly the eyes of someone who realizes the healing Blessings of the Animals; a feeling I personally agree with Katrina Kittle as my husband always insists my significant other was Max the dog. The story line is character driven as fans see how the lead protagonists and people in her sphere observe their relationships with others especially loved ones. If you prefer save the world action look elsewhere, but those who appreciate a superb well written drama that focuses on saving a soul or two will relish this deep one sitting tale; an aging steed serves as Clarence Oddbody figuratively teaching the depressed vet how to move on with her wonderful life.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2013

    I am really enjoying this book...

    Animals are full of blessings and this book gives great examples.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2011

    Kritters Ramblings

    Read this in three sittings. I enjoyed my last Katrina Kittle read and I was super excited when I saw this on the Crazy Book Tours website.

    From the way she describes her characters and their settings to how they interact and the situations they find themselves in - her writing just draws you in and keeps you hooked. A woman battling through separation and divorce, as she tries to raise her teenage daughter and continue her growing veterinary business. I felt connected to these characters real fast and wanted so much to know what was going to happen next at every moment.

    Telling a story about a woman who is going through such a large transition with friends surrounded was such a great positive twist. I loved that she had a great cast of characters that came in and out, but they also had their own distinct storylines that also kept me glued to it.

    I would recommend this book to my lady readers who love a story that keeps you hooked from the first page to the very end.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2010

    Delightful

    I really enjoy reading this book. It is often said of a non-fiction book, it reads like fiction. Several times while reading "The Blessings of the Animals", I had to remind myself it was indeed fiction. It was a touching story told beautifully. If you have ever been loved and comforted by a four-legged friend it is a must read. Enjoy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2013

    What a great book I am 3/4 of the way through. I can't wait to s

    What a great book I am 3/4 of the way through. I can't wait to see what happens and at the same time I don't want it to end.  If you are an animal lover this is a book for you. If you been hurt this is a book for you.  Again not done with it yet .  I may come back and change my review to five stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    Hate the end.

    Hate the end.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2014

    For every animal lover out there!

    What a great story, I loved this book! It shines light on the healing properties pets have for us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Can't give it more

    It starts out good and you think...this will be a good one. So, you keep reading along, wait for the main character to get to be more than just what you read and then, bam, the book ends. What? That's it? Are you kidding me? You make me read 350 pages to get here? What a terrible ending. The author actally had too many characters in this book and left her main on the side. Too bad because it could have been good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    WOW

    I am only on page 24, and as an equistrian myself, I've already cried once. Definate read for anyone with a love for animals.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2013

    Engaging, genuine, heartwarming

    If you love animals interspersed with family drama, you will enjoy this book. A truly heartwarming anf enjoyable read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2013

    Loved it!

    Very touching book. Enjoyed it very much!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Beautiful book

    Very insightful book about our connection to animals

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    All Nighter...

    I could not put this book down. It made me laugh and cry. I never wanted it to end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Check it out

    An involved story of many friends and family members, and some interactions with animals who were abused and the change that takes place when love and care is given and you gain a friend for life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2013

    Highly Recommended if you are an animal lover

    This is such a wonderful story if you are an animal lover. Animals are truly a blessing.

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  • Posted April 28, 2013

    ABSOLUTELY GREAT BOOK

    This is a great book for any animal lover!! Could hardly put it down, want more books like this-really enjoyed this.

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