Inspired by true events....
Losses send a woman's soul into its darkest winter....
Maria has cared for her very ill mother for many years. Her burdens are heavy, causing a sadness bordering on darkness. When she discovers her historic barn is now home to a mother cat and kittens, she feels lighter than she has in years. As the kittens grow, they teach her as only animals can do.
Then tragedy strikes. As Maria loses her family, the darkness envelopes her like the heavy fog that blankets her Blue Ridge Mountain home each morning. She creates a scorecard: God: 9, Maria: 0. Her questions turn into anger at God. She searches to find answers as to why her loving God would take away so much in such a short time.
How will she learn to trust again? Can the kittens in her barn help her heal?
I was a bit skeptical when I first started this book...a true story with ‘talking’ animals....huh...then I decided to listen with an open mind. This is so much more than barn cats...Maria lost every immediate family member before the age of 50! She was a dedicated caretaker of her sick mother and had a tender heart for animals. She ‘adopted’ a stray barn cat and its kittens and they provided comfort during the stressful time of caring for her ailing mother. Then one by one, her animals began to pass away. How does a person deal with so much loss? Maria was angry at God for a while but eventually found her way...the Christian life has hills and valleys...but trusting that your God knows what he’s doing tends to bring comfort
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But clearly not for me nor, I would image, most rational adults in search of a book dealing with loss and grief along with questioning God. This book gives animals not only a voice, but cognizant thought processes in relating to humans. Although the author may be trying to write about and work through such losses and questions (publishers' summary claims it is inspired by true events), it fails miserably in my humble opinion. The reasons for that are multifaceted. If the book is trying to address adult issue, it should refrain from using the mechanisms (talking animals and sing-song narration) found in children's books. Secondly, to suggest that the work is religious, spiritual, and/or Christian borders on heresy. Quoting Scripture, then using a dead bird as a sign of God's comfort borders on absurdity; again in my humble opinion. It appears as if the author is taking normal life events and and interpreting them as redemptive work. Between the talking animals, Scripture quotations, and the childlike narration this book is just going in too many directions to ever come together as a work that speaks to adult emotions.
That being said, I do realize that this book is a work of fiction and thus gives the author license to take their tale in whatever direction they wish. However, aside from animal lovers who tend to humanize theirs pets, I would not recommend it to those looking for an enriching read/listen. Finally, I have never given a book this low of a grade; perhaps if it were in a different category ones expectations of the content would differ.
A review copy of this audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in return for this unbiased review. My hope is that this review helps in your decision to obtain this book.
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