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A Three Dog Life By Abigail Thomas

Reviewing: A Three Dog Life By Abigail Thomas Paperback/Harcourt, Inc.  |  Rating:
By bmused on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 5 | Other Entertainment Expertise:

A Three Dog Life is Abigail Thomas's memoir about dealing with the aftermath of a terrible accident that leaves her husband Rich brain damaged and unable to form new memories. Thomas's prose is clear and direct, and her observations are incisive and insightful. The reader admires Thomas for her ability to honestly scrutinize her feelings about a husband who is no longer who she married and her uncertain status as a not-quite widow. Thomas writes movingly of her guilt at institutionalizing her husband when he becomes too much to handle at home as well as her uneasiness at finding pleasure in her new independence. The "three dogs" of the title refer to Thomas's three dogs who provide her with much comfort as she learns how to deal with the loss of her husband's companionship and figure prominently in the narrative. Dog lovers will appreciate Thomas's affection for her canine friends and enjoy her insights into the behavior and social interactions of dogs. The only thing that keeps this memoir from being truly excellent is a lack of cohesion. Most of the chapters of this book were originally written and published as individual magazine articles. Thomas collected these articles and added some additional material but apparently made no effort to tie all the chapters together in a unified narrative. While many of the chapters stand alone as excellent examples of memoir in their own right, the reader keeps wishing for more narrative continuity in the book as a whole.