It had been a while since I had read and reviewed another book by Gwen, Homer's Odyssey, and I had forgotten just how much I love Gwen's writing style, her development of characters is superb. She expertly crafts and describes their personalities and idiosyncrasies in a way that we feel as if we KNOW them. Gwen's ability to tug at our hearts, and her ability to take a story plot and weave an intricate fabric of twists and turns, incredible highs and devastating lows are a talent that is unique.
In both Homer's Odyssey and in Love Saves the Day, it is obvious how much Gwen knows and loves her beloved New York. The title, Love Saves the Day, "was the name of an iconic East Village store (where Madonna trades her pyramid jacket for a pair of rhinestone boots in Desperately Seeking Susan). Gwen says that "the phrase initially captured me as being both iconic of a certain era in New York 's downtown scene and also a great title for a book about the transformative nature of different kinds of love and relationships."
From the Publisher: Poignant, insightful, and funny, Love Saves the Day is a story of hope, healing, and how the love of an animal can make all of us better humans. It's the story of a mother and daughter divided by the turmoil of bohemian New York, and the opinionated, irrepressible feline who will become the bridge between them. It's a novel for anyone who's ever lost a loved one, wondered what their cat was REALLY thinking, or fallen asleep with a purring feline nestled in their arms.
Prudence, who is based on Cooper's own cat Scarlett (who crossed the Bridge a year ago) bore a striking resemblance both physically and in her behavior, to my Bobo who passed seven years ago. From Gwen: "Scarlett was very aloof and very dignified but also capable of deep affection for the small handful of humans she allowed herself to get close to." Gwen wanted the feline narrator to "have a certain emotional distance from the humans she was observing, so that she wasn't always seeing them through a cloudy haze of adoration. But I also wanted her to be capable of that deep love those of us who love animals experience with the animals we bond with. Scarlett fit that bill perfectly." The above described my Bobo to a tee as well.
|My "Bobo" who bore|
a striking resemblance to "Prudence!"
Gwen Cooper also has to have an immense passion for the Beatles, as I do. Their famous song "Dear Prudence" is quoted when Sarah finds Prudence as a kitten, hiding, and Sarah encourages Prudence to come to her by saying: " Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play?" The Beatle's lyrics telling Prudence to "open up your eyes", "greet the brand new day", "the sun is up, the sky is blue, it's beautiful and so are you" are not a coincidence, it was a brilliant connection on the part of Gwen. Dear Prudence is saying that all will be fine, to look around, observe the beauty that surrounds you, just as the feline "Prudence" does in Love Saves the Day. The spirit of the song Dear Prudence, and the meaning of the lyrics of the Beatles classic, are the soul of Love Saves the Day. Not only did the feline "Prudence" learn to see life without Sarah in a "brand new way" but through her love and wisdom she enabled those around her to do the same. In my opinion, only a true Beatles fan would appreciate and make this connection.
There were so many thoughts that went through my mind while reading Love Saves the Day, that taken individually, each thought could be shaped to form an endless number of reviews. Love Saves the Day is a book of substance, full of emotion, humor, history, love... and... yes, sadness. You will want to dive deep within it's pages and kiss the precious white paws of the sagacious Prudence. This book has THAT much to offer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gwen Cooper is the New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Homer's Odyssey and the novel Diary of a South Beach Party Girl. She is active with numerous animal welfare organizations and is a frequent speaker at shelter fundraisers across the U.S. Gwen lives in Manhattan with her husband, Laurence. She also lives with her three perfect cats-Homer, Clayton and Fanny-who aren't impressed with any of it.
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