5 Star Review
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Editorial Book Review:
by Michael Beas
"Mattie, Milo, and Me a memoir" by Anne Abel is a moving and fearless exploration of resilience, atonement, and the healing power of the link between people and their furry companions. The events of Anne's voyage take place against the backdrop of her turbulent history. She suffers from acute depression as a result of growing up in an abusive household. She appears as a strong-willed mother who is determined to break the pattern and provide her sons a better life.
One of Anne’s sons wants a dog from the time he is a baby. For years she appeases him with creatures who live in cages and tanks. But on his tenth birthday she can no longer say no about the dog. The story takes an unexpected turn when Anne falls in love with the dog, Mattie. Readers can see the transforming magic that happens as Mattie grows to be a vital member of their family thanks to Anne's compelling words. But when Mattie suddenly and tragically passes away, Anne sinks back into her despair, putting her newly acquired fortitude and perseverance to the test.
The central theme of the memoir is Anne's steadfast devotion to her family, two-legged and four-legged. In her grief at losing Mattie, Anne adopts Milo, a dog with a violent past, believing that he is a docile creature. Anne's determination to give Milo a chance at a good life becomes a powerful metaphor for her own journey of overcoming adversities.
As Anne navigates the challenges of Milo's rehabilitation, readers are transported on a riveting trip from dog school to the deep woods. The story is filled with unfiltered passion, candor, and an honest examination of the author's changing ability to love. As Anne and Milo grow closer, their bond pushes the limits of Anne's resilience and increases her capacity for nurturing and caring for others.
The memoir serves as a witness to the significant effect that animals can have on people, providing comfort, company, and a means of personal growth. Anne Abel's writing is both introspective and heart-wrenchingly honest, allowing readers into the depths of her emotions. The incredibly poignant memoir "Mattie, Milo, and Me" honors the resilience of the human spirit and the enduring power of love—even in the face of severe loss.