Monthly Archives: September 2009

Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper

Homer's OdysseyTitle: Homer’s Odyssey
Author:  Gwen Cooper
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub. Date: August 2009
ISBN: 038534385X
304 pp
Rating: 
Reviewed by: Dorothy Thompson

Homer’s Odyssey is the beautiful account of one blind cat and a woman who learned about life through the sightless eyes of a cat that was doomed (or so it seemed) from the beginning. In this first person narrative written by Gwen Cooper, the reader is taken on a journey into Gwen’s life as a single woman dealing with an underpaying job and a recently broken heart.  Adopting another cat when she already had two was the last thing on her mind, especially a “special needs” cat.

But Homer turned out to be quite the opposite.  Of all the books about dogs and cats on the shelf today, Homer’s Odyssey has got to be not only the best book I have ever read but also the most memorable one. As the owner of many cats in my past, I understand the personalities of cats, but Homer was beyond extraordinary.  Take this for example:

“The first time I discovered his latest achievement was by accident.  I awoke early one morning and stumbled into the bathroom.  Flipping on the light, I fount that it was…already occupied.  Homer balancing one the edge of the toilet seat.”

Another hilarious part:

“Homer, in those days, was particularly enamored of playing with tampons.  Having encountered one by chance, he was fascinated by the way they’d roll around, and by the string at the end.  He liked them so much, he figured out where I kept them stored in teh cabinet below the bathroom sink and – with unerring patience and accuracy – mastered the task of forcing open the cabinet doow and rading the tampon box…When I walked in with my date, Homer rant to greet me at the door.  And there, hanging from his mouth, was a tampon.”

Keep in mind this is a blind cat and this is only a very small part of his amazing abilities.

One part that was rather miraculous was not only could he scale seven-foot bookcases and leap five feet into the air to catch flies, but he was incredibly adept at chasing burglers out of Gwen’s bedroom and saving Gwen’s life.

The part that really touched me was when he survived being trapped alone for days after 9/11 in an apartment near the World Trade Center.  Gwen frantically tried to get to him but no one was allowed in the area where the World Trace Centers went down.  Here’s a bit from that:

“…I walked for more than three miles, and that entire time I didn’t see or hear another living soul – not a car, not a person, not a bird in a tree.  It felt eerie, almost post-apocalyptic, as if I were the only living human left in Manhattan.  I had never seen or even heard of a completely deserted New York City street.  No matter how late the hour or how queit a neighborhood, there was always something or someone else – a woman walking a dog, a man delivering produce to a twenty-four-hour grocery stor, lights in windows.  You were never so far from a jamor thoroughfare as to be unable to hear cars whizzing by like comets in teh distance.  But now there was nothing but silence.  Smoke and silence.”

A truly remarkable book and one in which I enjoyed tremendously.

Homer’s Odyssey is the once-in-a-lifetime story of an extraordinary cat and his human companion. It celebrates the refusal to accept limits—on love, ability, or hope against overwhelming odds. By turns jubilant and moving, it’s a memoir for anybody who’s ever fallen completely and helplessly in love with a pet.

This book will not only bring a smile to your face, but a smile to your heart. Excellent book and highly recommended!

For more information, visit the author’s website at www.gwencooper.com.  To purchase your copy of Homer’s Odyssey, click here to take you to Amazon.

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Filed under Non-Fiction

Meggie’s Remains

Meggie's_Remains

Meggie’s Remains
Author: Joanne Sundell
Publisher: Five Star-Gale

Rating: 
Reviewed by:  Cheryl Malandrinos 

 

 Meggie’s Remains is a superb romantic suspense novel that will capture you from the very first moment you enter Colorado Territory.

Meghan McMurphy flees Boston and her past with few belongings and her copy of Jane Eyre. Arriving in Denver, she hopes to lose herself in the city where the nightmares might not reach her. When dashing Ethan Rourke stumbles upon Meggie on a snowy Denver street, he believes the woman must be insane. But Ethan has no idea of the life she’s lived or the secret she is determined to keep hidden.

Assuming the name Rose Rochester, Meggie is hired as a teacher in an isolated mountain town in rugged Ute country. Settling in to make a life for herself–and hoping for a life simliar to that of the main characters of her beloved romance novel–Meggie knows that somehow and someway, the monstrous changeling from her nightmares will find her, killing any possibility of a life at all.

Sundell creates two multi-faceted and intriguing characters whose experiences are as different from each other’s as night is to day; develops feelings between them that neither is willing to accept or act on; and comes out with a huge winner.   Meggie’s story is one of pain and terror while Ethan’s is a story of tragedy and loss. Battling against their growing feelings, each time that it seems Meggie and Ethan will end up together, Sundell tears them apart and keeps the reader turning the pages. And as if that isn’t enough, Meggie’s past is slowly creeping up to get her, and she knows it!

In addition to historical accuracy and attention to detail, Sundell’s ability to create realistic characters makes Meggie’s Remains an excellent read. You can tell that she has lived and breathed each of the characters she has created: Meggie and Ethan, their friends and associates, even the villain.

With a touch of the paranormal, this book becomes an engaging and intriguing read. Anyone who enjoys romantic suspense, an historical love story, complex characters and a book that you can’t put down will want to read Meggie’s Remains.

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Paranormal Romantic Suspense, Romance