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Monday, 25 February 2013

*** Review*** Cleo by Helen Brown

On the Back of the Book

For all those people who say they aren't cat people, but deep down know they are. Helen Brown wasn't a cat person, but her nine-year old son Sam was. So when Sam heard someone mention that her cat had just had a litter, he pleaded to go and see them Seeing Sam holding one of the tiny kittens in his hands, Helen was powerless to resist and the deal was done - to be delivered when the kitten was big enough to leave her mother. Just a week later, Sam was killed in a road accident. Not long after this, a little black kitten was delivered to the family's doorstep. Totally numbed by Sam's death, Helen had completely forgotten about the new arrival, which belonged in another universe when Sam was still alive. Helen was ready to send her back, but Sam's younger brother, Rob, identified with the kitten who'd also lost her brothers. Stroking her, it was the first time Helen had seen him smile since Sam's death. There was no choice, the kitten - dubbed Cleo - had to stay. Cleo's immense character slowly taught the family to laugh again, giving them hope of getting back to normal. She went on to become the high priestess of Helen's household - vetoing her new men, terrifying visiting dogs and playing an integral role in their lives to become both a guardian and friend.

Pre Read Thoughts

I’m choosing this because:

I saw this when I was in WHSmith and the thing that made me pick it up was the cover. More on the cover in the cover bit. I personally found the synopsis to be lacking, I think that this is a book that has a set market though and knows that it will appeal to them.

Judging a book by its cover:

The cover is what made me stand up and take notice of this. The kitten on the cover is a stunner and it made me remember when I first picked up Mischief from the pet shop (He’s now a fully fledged bundle of awesomeness). I’m a sucker for pretty animals so obviously I ended up bringing this book home.

Pricing the (possible) awesomeness:

I got this as part of a buy one get one half price offer. My copy displays the RRP as £6.99 but you can get it on Amazon for £5.24 in paperback and £4.99 on Kindle. Not the cheapest books I’ve ever seen on Amazon but still reasonable.

Post Read Thoughts

I did like this. I thought the stories of Cleo were amusing but for me this book wasn’t so much about the cat but about a family recovering from the devastating loss of a child. The cat just happened to be there. I know that sounds harsh of me, but it’s my honest opinion. The writing was good but I felt that it was a bit fluffy, the constant referrals to Cleo being an “Egyptian princess” got annoying . It would be like me telling you how my cat looks like he’s walked out of an advert for Felix cat food. Every five minutes. It would be repetitive and then you’d hate me. Sometimes coming up with a different way of saying something is just as good. For example, my cat is a classic example of what people presume black and white cats looks like. Job done. However I’ve gone way off the topic of this book. I will admit that I shed a tear or two at the end of this. Brownie points for making me connect with Princess Cleo.

There aren’t any characters, just people and who am I to judge them? Sure there were people that I didn’t like the sound of but they’re nothing to me. The story is meant to be about Cleo, who I adored, and she should be the only one that matters. I will say that I admired the way the family coped with the loss of Sam and managed to move on even though they never forgot him.

Overall this is an enjoyable read though it’s not incredible or life-changing it might be enough to make you sob into a tissue for a few moments. It’s amazing how an animal can help people simply because they don’t know the situation they’ve been brought into. The writing is good enough to keep people interested and they might appreciate the story telling more than I did.

My Rating

3 stars it’s good but nothing special. I recommend this to animal lovers and those that enjoy memoir type books. I think this is right up your streets.

A Final Note
This is a review I wrote in 2012 before my review book ran away. I haven’t re-read the book but I think what I had to say is worth something so it can sit with the rest of my reviews.

1 comment:

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