BOOKS: The Blessing of the Animals

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2010:
(published October 5, 2010)

The Blessing of the Animals
by Katrina Kittle
HarperCollins Publishers
(10 East 53rd St., New York, NY 10022), 2010.
424 pages, paperback. $14.99.

Cover accolades claim The Blessing of the Animals
“Illustrates the devastation of betrayal and loss, the healing power
of love and compassion, and the joy and comfort that comes from
knowing–and relating to–animals.” Yet there is little about
animals in this work of fiction.

Narrative persona Cami Anderson, a veterinarian, partners
with her local shelter and accompanies investigators on cruelty
investigations. The Blessing of the Animals opens with a horse
rescue, begun after several horses have already starved in a barn
while their owner and her new boyfriend took a five-week vacation.
This and other episodes centering on animals seem authentic,
including Anderson’s acquisition of an injured stray cat whom she
cannot bring herself to euthanize. But The Blessing of the Animals
is mostly about an acrimonious divorce. The back cover says a horse
gives Anderson comfort during a difficult time. I would like to have
read more about Anderson’s relationship with Moonshot the horse and
less about her failed marriage. –Debra J. White

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