A Novel

Book - 2011 | 1st ed.
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As a veterinarian, Helena had mercifully escorted thousands of animals to the other side. Now, having died herself, she finds that it is not so easy to move on. She is terrified that her 37 years of life were meaningless, error-ridden, and forgettable. So Helena haunts-- and is haunted by-- the life she left behind. Meanwhile, David, her shattered attorney husband, struggles with grief and the demands of caring for her houseful of damaged and beloved animals. But it is her absence from her last project, Cindy-- a chimpanzee who may unlock the mystery of communication and consciousness-- that will have the greatest impact on all of them.

When Cindy is scheduled for a research experiment that will undoubtedly take her life, David must call upon everything he has learned from Helena to save her. In the explosive courtroom drama that follows, all the threads of Helena's life entwine and tear as Helena and David confront their mistakes, grief, and loss, and discover the only way to save Cindy is to understand what it really means to be human.
Publisher: New York : Center Street, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781599954103
Branch Call Number: ABRAM
Characteristics: ix, 353 p. ; 24 cm.


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cmlibrary_aghilton Jul 30, 2016

Beautifully written. My perspective of the relationship between humans and animals is forever changed after reading this. It's heartbreaking at times, yes, but the best books bring tears to your eyes. Fantastic read.

Jun 28, 2016

A compelling and well written story.

Sep 22, 2015

There is joy there is sadness there is redemption.

Jun 26, 2015

It took me a bit to get into this book, but once I did I was hooked. I loved how the author wove everything together, and was especially touched by Cindy and Clifford's characters. All animal lovers will appreciate this story, and the deeper implications of animal rights and what constitutes sentience will stay with you afterwards.

Leosrme Dec 19, 2013

I have had this book on my "for later" list for a long while. I have just read the reader reviews about it and I don't think I can bear to read it. It sounds too sad and I know that I probably would find it too distressing.

JCLHelenH Dec 10, 2013

After losing her fight with breast cancer, veterinarian Helena Colden must watch as her husband learns of the secrets she kept. From him, as well as from herself. Readers for whom this exploration of marriage resonated will also enjoy Katrina Kittle's "The Blessings of the Animals."

Nov 23, 2013

I loved this book which beautifully combined human/animal relationships. I have never encountered a reader before who "got it" about animals and found ways to describe this natural bond we have with them.

Yes I cried a lot too because part of this book was about regrets and failures and living with that.

mmg2681 Oct 23, 2013

A great book, though I was going to put it down in the beginning when I was having a hard time reading about what goes on to chimps during testing. I'm glad I read it through the end. During this book, the movie Project Nim came in for me to watch, which helped to show that what happened in this book actually is true to life (unfortunately). Again, a great read.

Jun 19, 2013

I read this book then subsequently ordered a copy for my mother...she read it in two days...here were her comments.
I have to tell you that I have not read a more compelling, sad, lovely book in my life. I started crying in the first chapter and it was downhill after that. I could not see the pages half the time but the message is so full of love and compassion that it makes it impossible to put the book down. Thank you so much for the best read I have ever had.

Jun 04, 2013

Had me crying my eyes out. However, parts of it seemed to drag a little. Also kind of weird how a dead person is telling the story. Overall an okay read.

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Sep 22, 2015

Nalaredneb thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Sep 22, 2015

Wife dies, she watches life continue, animals are weaved unifying character interaction and then redemption.


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