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Cats & Daughters:: They Don't Always Come When Called Paperback – March 26, 2013


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Cats & Daughters:: They Don't Always Come When Called + CLEO: The Cat Who Mended a Family + Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

While working on the manuscript detailing the tragic events surrounding her son’s death and the healing her family found through the love of a special cat (Cleo, 2010), Brown is dealt a devastating one-two punch that sends her fragile world reeling. She is diagnosed with breast cancer, and her eldest daughter announces her desire to move to war-torn Sri Lanka and become a Buddhist nun. Feeling uncertain and needy, Brown struggles with the knowledge that she must let Lydia pursue her own dreams, even though, selfishly, she wants to keep her by her side. Although Lydia returns in time to see Brown through her crisis, her compulsion to follow the Buddhist way will test Brown’s maternal mettle. Once again, it will take a remarkable feline to help her family put things in perspective and impart the kinds of life lessons one can’t always learn from a two-footed guru. Candid, genuine, and unaffected, Brown’s touching memoir celebrates the affirmational power of animal companions to help humans navigate life’s most challenging moments. --Carol Haggas

Review

'This is a moving account of family life going off the rails, but saved by love and the realisation that by allowing cats and daughters to roam, they'll come home in the end.' (Four Stars) The Lady 'If you're one of the 500,000 who bought Cleo and loved it, you'll be happy to hear her sequel is equally heart-warming and engaging ... If you've ever felt like your life is sometimes stranger than fiction then you'll readily identify with the latest update on Helen's life. It's a great reminder of why, even when life is dishing you up a big plate of craziness, there are still blessings to be gained.' Australian Women's Weekly 'charming, funny and heartfelt ... I carried it everywhere I went in the two days it took me to read it' Booksellers NZ 'I could not put it down. Very well written, it captured both my heart and my imagination.' The Weekly Review 'A delightful book.' Rotorua Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel (March 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806536063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806536064
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ingrid King on April 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
I love cat memoirs, and I love that we're seeing more and more of these wonderful stories being published. I absolutely adored Helen Brown's first book, CLEO: The Cat Who Mended a Family, about the little black kitten who came into the author's life after the death of her young son. This sweeping memoir of heartbreak, changes, new beginnings, and ultimately, happiness, touched my heart in a big way.

I was excited about this sequel, but you just never know with sequels: will they be as good as the first book, or will they disappoint? I should have known that Brown wouldn't disappoint.

After Cleo died, the author swore she'd never get another cat, but the universe had different plans when a small Siamese kitten with an intense blue gaze wraps his paws around her hand in a pet store. Jonah came into Brown's life shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had just begun recovery from a mastectomy. Additionally, she was planning her son's wedding, and struggling with her daughter's choice to become a Buddhist nun and move to war-torn Sri Lanka. Add in a high energy, hyperactive kitten with behavioral issues, and the author had her plate full and then some!

I found this book incredibly hard to put down - not something that happens with a lot with memoirs. Brown writes with humor, compassion and sometimes almost brutal honesty about her struggles with her illness, her daughter, and her rambunctious cat. This is a story of love and family - both two- and four-legged - with all the challenges and imperfections that are part of life. The juxtaposition of Brown's struggles with her independent daughter and her equally headstrong cat, and the lessons she learns along the way about letting go and having faith are nothing short of inspirational.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By MAXINE on May 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Expected more from this book. I am a Siamese cat owner and absolutely love the breed and how they interact with us humans, The book centers more on the author and her family then secondly on the cat. Although she does incorporate the Siamese and I understand her plot ; it became boring and redundent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gerald T. Randklev on June 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
People who have raised cats and kids will recognize a lot of the behaviors. For the most part, is a narrative of the ups and downs of normal life in sort of "as the world turns" style. The author seems to be a nice person and the book a "feel good" sort of experience.
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Format: Paperback
I loved Helen's first book, Cleo the Cat Who Mended a Family. It's one of the most perfect cat books I've ever read. I was sure that Cats and Daughters couldn't measure up. In some ways I was right, but where it counted I was very wrong.

As other reviewers have pointed out, Jonah the cat isn't as commanding a presence as was Cleo. Jonah doesn't even join the family until what, about 80 pages into the book? And he never takes over the role of counselor that Cleo held. In fact, Jonah comes with problems-- some common problems that high strung cats have, that threaten his life with his family. Still, he emerges as a strong personality and certainly plays a significant role in the book.

For me, what made the book was again Helen's wonderful way of telling her story. There's a lot of warmth, a lot of humor, and a good bit of soul searching going on as she faces cancer and a daughter who wants to become a Buddhist nun in a country torn by civil war-- not the most comforting thought for a mother. Helen's honesty about her own reactions, her relationship with her own mother, and now her relationship with her daughter is refreshing. It made me think about my own relationship with my mother, whom I think would have really enjoyed both these books.

I've read a lot of books about cats and their owners, books about people finding their way, books about relationships, and I have to say that for the most part I feel these people are speaking to a large audience. They're telling their side of the story and hoping for a good reaction. With Helen, I feel I'm listening to a friend in an intimate setting. No crowds or microphones, just two people talking. And did I mention that she's funny? Very funny?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DLD on December 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is supposed to be a sequel to CLEO. It is not. There is very little of the cat in here. It is mostly about the author's daughter. It was not nearly as engaging as the previous book. I will not be keeping this one.
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First, let me say that I was not aware of the author's first book, "Cleo" until I began reading this book. I don't remember how I discovered the availability of this title but it captured my attention and it was added to my 'wish to read' list. This is a beautiful memoir by Helen Brown to delight every aspect of a reader's senses from the beauty of the cover design by Colleen Andrews to the collage of color family photographs on the first page to the author's remembrances throughout the pages. The descriptions of experiences, thoughts and emotions are shared with honesty and without hesitation.

As I am a daughter that wandered away from my home town on two occasions to follow my heart - once for professional exploration and once simply to follow my heart - I can truly understand some of the perplexing conversations through the years between mother and daughter. As dearest cat Jolie continued to live with Mother throughout the years of these same wanderings I have a deep appreciation for Jonah's nurturing of Helen Brown's family as well as his soulful reactions.

This is a very special glimpse of the bonds shared by mothers and daughters, the friendship circle of women when courage, strength and hope are needed for sharing in higher volumes but softly without fanfare and the unconditional love between cats and their forever families.
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