BOOKS: Love Saves the Day

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  July-August 2013:

Love Saves the Day  by Gwen Cooper Bantam Books (1745 Broadway,  New York,   NY 10019),  2013. 317 pages,  hardcover.  $26.00.

Cat rescuer Gwen Cooper follows up her 2010 best-seller,  Homer’s Odyssey,  about the former strays who kept her company near Ground Zero on September 11,  2011,  with Love Saves the Day,  another superb work told from three viewpoints:  Prudence the cat, the cat’s deceased person Sarah,  and her daughter Laura,  who saves the day.  Each narrator’s personality sparkles.  Love Saves the Day begins when Sarah,  a record store owner,  finds Prudence as a stray kitten on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The pair enjoy their lives together until Laura and Josh, Sarah’s daughter and son-in-law,  arrive to start packing Sarah’s belongings.  Prudence wonders why she is forced to leave the only home she has ever known.  Where is Sarah?  Prudence tolerates her new living arrangements,  but waits to return to Sarah’s apartment.  She is not thrilled with eating organic cat food and misses the special games she played with Sarah.  Josh’s visiting nieces and nephews,  who she calls the littermates,  annoy her.  Overhearing Laura and Josh talk about Sarah’s passing punches a hole in the cat’s heart:  Sarah won’t be back after all.  The new family endures job loss and financial stress,  but as they struggle together,  Prudence learns to trust again,  even though her heart will always belong to Sarah.   Love Saves the Day is compelling,  page-turning,  and thoughtful.   ––Debra J. White

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