Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Three Dog Life

Abigail Thomas' memoir A Three Dog Life is mesmerizing. Thomas follows five years of her life after her husband is tragically struck by a car. He suffers a severe traumatic brain injury. The trauma eliminates his short term memory and leaves him psychologically unpredictable at times, making it necessary for him to live in a facility where he can be cared for and well monitored.

Thomas remains committed to her marriage and moves to the country, away from New York City, to be close to the facility that her husband now calls home. One of the ways Thomas copes with her new life is by adding two dogs to her family. (Thomas and her husband already had one dog.) This is where the title, of course, comes from.

There are so many passages in this book that ring with absolute beauty as Thomas grows and makes sense of her life. One of my favorite parts is when Thomas discovers the work of outsider artists and begins collecting various pieces.

Thomas writes poetically with such honesty and introspection. At times, this book will break your heart; at other times, it will uplift your spirit.


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