The Thing Is

The Thing Is

by Kathleen Gerard

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781940215587
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Publication date: 02/09/2016
Pages: 276
Sales rank: 291,322
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

Kathleen Gerard is a writer whose work has been awarded The Perillo Prize, The Eric Hoffer Prose Award and nominated for Best New American Voices and Short Story America, all national prizes in literature. Kathleen writes across genres. Her short prose and poetry have been widely published in magazines, journals and anthologies.

Her essays have been broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR). Kathleen's woman-in-jeopardy novel IN TRANSIT won The New York Book Festival - "Best Romantic Fiction" (2011). Kathleen is a book reviewer for and a contributor to Shelf Awareness and maintains the blog, "Reading Between the Lines."

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The Thing Is 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quick easy read with smiles, tears & laughter...
Anonymous 4 months ago
Having loved and lost my own Yorkie, I more than enjoyed the antics of Prozac in this book. The human characters were also wonderfully detailed.
PinkStar More than 1 year ago
Very good book and if you love dogs, you'll love this story. It started out a little slow but I'm glad I stuck with it. Certainly worth it!! And I love the dogs name!
GRgenius More than 1 year ago
This is the story of one four-legged friend's desire to see his name in lights. Okay, not really...but that IS on his bucket list IF he accomplishes the latest assignment given to him by the Canine Dispatch Board. Prozac entered this world with his eyes on the prize imagining time spent with his elderly charge was going to be a cakewalk, and while initially true that whole "to be determined" part of the case file he initially read should have been questioned a little harder. The TBD in this case is one Meredith Mancuso who comes into Prozac's life so unwillingly it hurts...as in my sides hurt from LAUGHING. Only dog owners can attest to the truthfulness the author embedded in Meredith and Prozac's first days. Push comes to shove and Meredith seems stuck with her four legged companion for the time being. It's okay, she's a big girl...she can handle it...right? Right...umm, did I fail to mention the dog as an UBER active social life that's going to impinge on her daily attempt at writing schedule and force her to associate with strangers on a daily basis JUST because the darn dog is so cute and friendly? Will this thrust into social land crack her well insulated shell wide open or will all the ill-gotten attention force her to burrow deeper within herself? If Prozac lives up to his name and demeanor, she won't have much of a choice in the end... The alternating chapters within the book allow readers to get to know both Meredith AND Prozac that much better. We can see just why Meredith is the way she is, stunted in life, closed off from others, and perfectly content to live that way. She has a violent heartache inflicted upon her that did some massive scarring, but the truth of the matter is...SHE'S STILL HERE. She's still alive...she's just forgotten how to live. Enter our little canine companion, Prozac. In HIS chapters, we get inside his mind to discover just how he REALLY feels about all those visits, how much puppy intuition he actually possesses, and just what it takes to capture his puppy attention. They play off each other well and despite some missteps, you couldn't ask for a better match. Now, these two are far from the only characters worth a mention, but you'll have to get to know Razzle-Dazzle-Radcliffe, Judge Thea, and the rest of the Evergreen Gardens gang on your own time. Trust me, it's worth the personal introduction. To conclude, a book I enjoyed from cover to cover with characters that were easy to lose yourself in and a fur baby with heart and snark to spare. It'd make a great addition to your summer reading list to wile away an afternoon in the sun, or tucked into your favorite reading nook with a fur baby by your side. I will "warn" readers that tissues may be needed at some point in the work, but believe me when I say that it's all sorted out in the end. **review copy received in exchange for my honest review...full post can be seen on my site**
Faith4 More than 1 year ago
The Thing Is by Kathleen Gerard The Thing Is by Kathleen Gerard a very humorous novel. Not only does it have humor, but it also has romance and mystery, plus a plot that holds the reader’s interest. The story is told by two people. One is a very intuitive dog with the name Prozac. The name is apropos because he is a therapy dog. That means his presence makes people feel better. The other voice in the story is Meredith. She ends up with Prozac. By “ends up”, I mean that Prozac originally belonged to a lady who was hospitalized, so she asked a trusted friend to dog sit. The trusted friend was Meredith’s sister, who is too busy and allergic to dogs. It may seem to be a complicated introduction to the story, but this rigmarole is part of the humor. Meredith is not in the mood to help out. But somehow she’s sweet-talked into it. Prozac has responsibilities. He ministers to a nursing home. This place has a judge that keeps threatening Meredith, a bully receptionist, some sweet old ladies, a delinquent, and a love interest. What could go wrong? The author, Kathleen Gerard, uses the characters for the humor. The events of the story come from the characters -- their pettiness, their carelessness, their selfishness--their human frailties. The Thing Is, is an easy read. It has everything: humor, mystery, romance, suspense and my kind of ending. Read it and find out yourself. I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. And my review convinced a lady in my cribbage group to order it. I read it to the group and she wrote down the ordering information and said it sounded like the perfect summer read. Thank you, Kathleen Gerard.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Meredith Mancuso is fiercely grieving as her fiancé has passed away. She used to be a successful novelist whose romances and stories were and are best sellers that it seems everyone knows. But Meredith has become a recluse and is ignoring calls from her agent and publisher because she’s just so bogged down in sadness. It’s more than grieving; it’s rock solid depression. That is until her accountant, CPA, numbers driven sister, Monica, rings her door – or actually is banging on the door like she’s going to break it down if Meredith doesn’t open up. Before Meredith can blink her eyes, Monica is pushing a furry dog into her arms – a Yorkshire terrier called yes, Prozac! This then is the story of Meredith’s baby-sitting venture with Prozac whom she is constantly trying to get rid of but whose attachment slowly but surely grows immensely – albeit pushed by bribery, threats of imprisonment for doggie abuse, and other hilarious scenes that are sheer delightful reading! For Prozac is a “Spirit Guide Dog,” that is one who is sensitive to the moods and feelings of wounded folks and able to heal them with his vibrant, loving presence. He has a weekly schedule – he actually belongs to Meredith’s aunt who is recovering from surgery - of visiting but I won’t spoil that but let you discover the craziness of each spot they visit. Of course, Meredith doesn’t really realize that she’s a tough project for Prozac but he gives her a healthy dose of her own stubborn rejection which is absolutely hysterical. The Thing Is has no linear plot; it just happens. While that might trouble some readers, it is actually pleasant to just “go with it” along with Meredith and Prozac. It’s a nice, light read that you’ll want to re-read just to enjoy the laughs all over again! Nicely done, K. Gerard!
KimHeniadis More than 1 year ago
This was such a wonderful read, both touching and funny. A disclaimer, since it wasn’t really mentioned in the description, Prozac is a dog that has been reincarnated many times. There are a couple of scenes where he is in (what I imagine to be) heaven, talking with the committee that will determine where he will be placed next. I thought it added a unique twist to the story, and for me didn’t distract from the book. The narration alternates between Prozac (who is very smart, and understands everything that is going on), and Meredith. Prozac added humor to the story with his amusing antics. The character growth in this book is done very well. At first Meredith and Prozac do not get along, and honestly I wasn’t a huge fan of Meredith. I mean, how can you not love a cute and understanding dog like Prozac. But her growth, not only with the dog, but the people they visit at Evergreen Gardens, made me change my mind about her. The characters at Evergreen Gardens are written very well too. They seemed so full of life, and they personalities were so much fun. When I’m older, I hope I find a community like this to live in. There was also some surprise to be found at the Gardens. People who came off one way, turned out differently once we got to know them. Although this seems like a light read from my description, there were also some heavy topics. The loss of loved ones, depression, and finding companionship made me shed a few tears. With summer coming up, I can see this being a wonderful beach read.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
Meredith is a romance writer who's in a depressive rut after the death of her fiance three years ago. She's unable to write, and she doesn't even really leave her apartment if she can avoid it. Her sister, Monica, forces her to watch her client's dog after the older woman injures her foot and needs surgery. Monica had agreed to take the dog herself, but she's allergic. Meredith, like me, doesn't like dogs, and she is reluctant to keep Prozac. Prozac is a very unusual dog. He's a certified therapy dog, so Meredith is expected to take him to Evergreen Gardens for visits with "his people." Many antics ensue with Prozac, Meredith, and the residents of the retirement community. Some were entertaining, and some were a little over the top. At times I was reminded of watching The Golden Girls. The book is told in two view points: Meredith, who I loved, especially when she was bantering with her sister, and Prozac, who we learn is actually on assignment as a spirit guide dog. Think It's a Wonderful Life, but instead of an angel, it's a dog assigned to help Meredith. Prozac's chapters dragged a little bit for me, especially at the beginning. Ultimately, I enjoyed reading about Meredith being drawn out of her reclusive shell, and Prozac was the impetus to that change. Having him in her life brought her to some new relationships that I really liked, but in the end the dog-parts were just too doggy for me. I think dog-lovers will enjoy this book a lot more than I did. http://www.momsradius.com/2016/04/book-review-thing-is-interview-with.html
Tribute_Books_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Is this an endearing book about a dog? Yes. But it's more than that. The devastating ache of loss throbs through its pages from beginning to end. Even though the story is tempered with a good dose of humor and tail-wagging cuteness, be prepared—it's an emotional read with a capital E. But that's what I like about it. Author Kathleen Gerard doesn't sugarcoat anything. She doesn't patronize the reader by simply writing a standard dose of feel-good fluff. Her book is funny. It's sad. It leaves its mark on the heart by putting you inside a grieving woman's head. You feel everything she's feeling—why she's withdrawn, why she's given up on life, but then Gerard goes the extra mile by showing that woman's pain from the point of view of a therapy dog. That's what got to me, feeling the pity the dog has for her. He doesn't want to see her so sad. He wants her to live again. And something about that, really tugs at the heartstrings. This little Yorkshire Terrier becomes her biggest cheerleader, rooting for her to take a chance on life again, encouraging her to follow his example and not be afraid to open up to people. And the beautiful thing is, that little by little, that's exactly what she does.
silencenomore More than 1 year ago
THE THING IS.. a wonderful story about loss and love. Meredith lost her fiancé and went into a deep depression. She is avoiding everyone and everything, not wanting to be bothered with life. Her sister wants Meredith to watch Prozac the therapy dog while the elderly lady Helen heals. The challenge comes in realizing Prozac has a full schedule, and very specific needs. She reluctantly decides to give it a try. Meredith and Prozac begin a very funny and interesting journey. Evergreen Retirement home is the first stop. Blackmail, vanilla ice cream, and funny patients are all part of the adventure ahead. Prozac is a star at Evergreen gardens. You’ll hear about the resident Antoinette, what a hoot! She’s a spunky firecracker with her own agenda. Ham is Helen’s adopted nephew who reveals she had a set back and is still recovering. Stephan was Helen’s real nephew who died of cancer. He was engaged to Ham. David is a patient’s son who becomes close friends with Meredith. Maggie, Ham and Helen all have something in common. They all suffered a loss. Prozac gets lost or stolen or disappears. You’ll have to read!! The chase and challenge to catch who is involved becomes the heart of the story. No spoilers for the ending. Prozac was able to give joy and comfort to everybody. Bringing all the people together with compassion and comfort to cure heartache and give unconditional love. The story is a great example of how therapy dogs, really can mend a broken heart. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I received this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. This is a perfect story, to share with someone who needs a little boost to continue celebrating life.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book because I love dogs, I was not disappointed, I loved this book. This is an amazing, story with two main characters - Meredith (a depressed author) and Prozac (a yorkie who is really a spriritual guide dog)! Meredith is an author who was with her fiancé when he was killed by a punk who threw a chunk of concrete at him as they were leaving the restaurant where they’d been celebrating her birthday. She’s never really recovered and is seriously depressed and a loner. She also seems to have writer's block. Her sister, Monica, has been trying to get her to come back to the land of the living. When one of Monica's clients ends up in the hospital, she hoodwinks Meredith into looking after her Yorkshire terrier, Prozac, who is a Therapy Dog. Little did they know he’s a Spirit Guide Dog sent to help them all. The story is told from the points of view of both main characters. Some of Prozac's chapters are absolutely laugh out loud and his comments are quite insightful. The secondary characters are also well developed and have distinct personalities. I loved Judge Thea, who strong arms Meredith into bringing Prozac for his weekly therapy visits. The various residents of the Retirement Home give a very realistic view of this generation trying to come to grips with their new limitations. It is a great read, showing the journey through grief to life after the death of a beloved partner. Using Prozac to bring out the emotions in the various characters was a great technique. All the characters in this book were realistic with real everyday problems. I think we could all do with a Spirit Guide at some point in our lives, whether a dog or other animal. This story was extremely well written. It grabbed my attention and held it right to the end. The characters were interesting, real and likeable/loveable. Prozac was the type of dog that everyone can relate to and want to hug or pet. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys wonderful stories about new beginnings, relationships and of course animals. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
BookMafiaBlog More than 1 year ago
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction Age: 17+ (based on the emotional complexity) Recommendation: Yes, this book is great for anyone interested in reading a story about someone who transcends sorrow and evolves her life with the help of a four legged friend. Type: Stand-alone Summary: + well built and complex female lead + unique canine perspective +deep emotional growth + well written – a bit slow in the beginning The Thing Is by Kathleen Gerard is a stand alone novel that highlights one woman’s return to the living after witnessing the horrible murder of her fiance. Our lead female, Meredith Mancuso, is a romance writer that has lost her zing. She spends her days alone and numb, staring at a blank computer and coming up empty. Already past her deadline, Meredith is completely put out when her sister shows up unexpectedly requesting a favor. The dog of one of her clients needs temporary board because his owner is in the hospital and Meredith gets suckered into filling the position. Here is where it gets interesting, told from both Meredith and the dog, Prozac’s perspective, this story gives you both an inside and an outside perspective of her life. As a licensed therapy dog, Prozac keeps a tight schedule, including visiting the local adult living facility Evergreen Garden’s. The tough broads living at EG won’t put up with him missing a visit, so Meredith is forced from her voluntary seclusion into a new social experience. More women’s lit and less romance, this book follows one woman who reluctantly drags herself out of her comfortable misery and into the forced companionship of a dog and his fan club. This book started off slowly, but picked up around half way through and carried me home quickly. I really liked that Meredith is painted as someone stronger than she realizes. Someone that can overcome her grief and find happiness after such extraordinarily terrible circumstances. With a little tinge of romance, this book is quite catching. The writing is detailed and flows well. The characters are well built experience complex emotions. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much Kathleen Gerard and Red Adept Publishing, LLC.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing, laugh out loud story with two main characters - Meredith and Prozac! Meredith is an author who was with her fiancé when he was murdered as they were leaving the restaurant where they’d been celebrating her birthday. She’s never really recovered and certainly hasn’t any joie de vivre anymore. When her sister, Monica, leaves her client’s Yorkshire terrier for Meredith to look after, little did they know he’s a Spirit Guide Dog sent to help them all. The story is told from the points of view of both main characters, and some of Prozac’s insightful asides and comments are absolutely brilliant! The secondary characters (especially the Judge) are also well developed and have distinct personalities which contribute to the ensuing adventures, mystery and suspense. It is a great read, showing the journey through grief to life after the death of a beloved partner in a sensitive yet still humorous manner. It also explores the relationship characters have with Prozac in an emotive manner. It is so easy to relate to all the characters and we could all do with a Spirit Guide dog like Prozac in our lives to help up in times of need. This is a delightful, heartwarming story, written by a superb story teller. It is a page turner that captures the reader and transports them to interact with these well crafted characters in a great adventure that I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys brilliant stories about new beginnings and great relationships! Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, with additional thanks to the author for alerting me to the ARC being available to request!
AliTheDragonSlayer More than 1 year ago
This is my second doggie themed book this week! Forever a sucker for an animal especially when posing on the cover of a book. This Yorkshire Terrier is called Prozac which possibly should have hinted that it wasn’t going to be a cutesy story. This features Meredith, she is grieving for her fiance, killed pointlessly following a quarrel in a car park! Thoroughly depressed obviously so her sister takes it upon herself to get her a puppy .. enter Prozac. As anyone who has had a pet knows they can lift your spirits .. Prozac however seems to have a magic quality and keeps returning to help others. Open your mind, take on board the emotions and sweetness of this spirit guide. I feel I should remark that it’s not a wise arrangement to foist a pet onto somebody without prior agreement but for the sake of the story I let that one pass. An ingenious tale which takes a different slant on the relationship between people and animals. I particularly like the aspect of turning loss into a positive and moving forward. Good, easy to read book. Thanks to the author and Sage’s Blog Tours for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest opinion.
Honolulubelle More than 1 year ago
Favorite Quotes: “My mind felt like a shaken-up snow globe.” “H&R Block was Monica’s pet parakeet. Only a twelve-year-old numbers whiz -= a kid who used to keep ledger books on how much she spent on chewing gum and hair barrettes – would have named a pet after a retail tax service mogul.” “The judge picked up her iPad and pressed it against her chest as if she were going to breastfeed it.” “Annette laced her fingers together and said, ‘Hail Mary, full of grace, help us find a parking space.’ No sooner had Annette spoken that phrase than a car pulled out of a parallel parking spot on the street… Well, look at that! Even though I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Episcopalian, that tried-and-true Catholic prayer never fails.’” “‘Oh, I can’t be bothered to learn all that.’ Mary flapped her hands. ‘I’m eighty-eight years old. Why don’t I just take up twerking!’” “If you’re not carting around some baggage by the time you get to be our age, then you’re probably not living.” My Review: The premise of this sweet and multi-layered story was unique and extremely clever. Written from a dual POV with one narrator being a repeatedly reincarnated dog, named Prozac, who enjoyed “a canine Mensa IQ and extensive vocabulary.” What a brilliant concept! I enjoyed it, adored it, gobbled it up, and continued to ponder it long after I had finished. The writing was emotive, fun, humorous, heart squeezing, and well textured. While the plot initially felt slow to develop, I soon realized there were many things going on many different levels with tentacles extending out in several different directions. Prozac was a Spirit Guide Dog, which were defined as highly evolved creatures with specific placements and “explicit jobs and functions to perform during their limited time on earth.” The Canine Dispatch Board repeatedly transported him to earth, as vastly different breeds, after a quick briefing on his next assignment. Prozac was among the elite of his group and considered “something of a canine Sigmund Freud.” He had well earned the nickname of, “The Human Whisperer” after thousands of years of honing his craft. He personally defined his job description to be that dogs led people to other people. In his current placement, part of Prozac’s role involved being a therapy dog with a busy itinerary, which included visits to a senior living center, which his disgruntled handler once described as “an elderly version of Melrose Place.” He was temporarily placed, through force and ultimately blackmail, into the care of a popular romance writer named Meredith, who was struggling with her own set of issues. The story was exceedingly well plotted, highly entertaining, and craftily unraveled by the two narrators. This was my first Kathleen Gerard experience, but one I would gladly repeat into perpetuity.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: The Thing Is Author: Kathleen Gerard Published: 2-9-16 Publisher: Red Adept {ublishing LLC Pages: 298 Genre: Romance Sub Genre: Women's Fiction ISBN: 9781940215587 ASIN: Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Welcome Prozac into your heart. He is a spirit guide dog who keeps returning as a new dog each time. Sent to help those dealing with grief and numbing losses of all kinds. His loving and sweet demeanor are perfect for his job. Meredith Mancuso cannot seem to heal and move on following the death of her fiancé. Her work has become her world with very little room for her family and friends. Keeping them at arm's length helps her keep her pain in check. When she is asked to foster an orphaned Yorkshire Terrier by her sister. She agrees with reluctance. Slowly Prozac has her becoming involved with life again. He works his magic and opens Meredith's eyes to those around her so that she is not the only one hurt by life so that she can begin to heal by helping others heal as well. She sees that by hiding from life you fail to honor the memories of those we have lost and cease to really live ourselves. The Thing Is is a story told beautifully in such a way that the reader is involved in the story itself. The plot is well thought out and the characters are well developed and likable. This book is a keeper of the highest order. It will warm your heart and leave you waiting to see where Prozac will be sent next. Fast moving with a new twist of a story line. I look forward reading more of Prozac no matter what form he takes.