Stephen King's front-cover endorsement of Thomas's memoir as the best he's ever read—and a "punch to the heart"—will surely pique interest in this wrenching, elegiac portrait of her third husband, Rich, who flounders in a miasmic present after a hit-and-run in their Manhattan neighborhood shatters his skull, destroys his short-term memory and consigns him to permanent brain trauma. A deft balance of fevered pathos and dark humor link this memoir, in spirit and theme, to Safekeeping, Thomas's collected vignettes that memorialize her second husband. But Thomas also finds wellsprings of inspiration in her tragicomic interactions with Rich and in the self-reliance she's forced to develop, aided by her faithful dogs (the book's title adapts an aboriginal phrase, derived from the tradition of cuddling with dogs on frigid nights). Rich—himself reminiscent of a Stephen King eccentric—utters eerily prescient, absurdly poetic non sequiturs, probing the essence of time and love with ingenuous intuition, though his acute paranoia and confusion make these exchanges truly heartbreaking. Thomas's quick-cutting chronology and confessional narration subtly re-enacts the soupiness of her husband's mind, even as she quietly thanks him for the wisdom of living in the present. (Sept.)
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In these exquisitely written essays Thomas reflects on how her marriage had to be reinvented after the night her husband, Richard, took their dog, Harry, out for a walk, and Harry came home alone. Richard had been hit by a car and was lying bleeding in the street. The traumatic head injury he suffered didn't kill him, as attending police had predicted it would, but it rendered him susceptible to large-scale memory loss, hallucinations, and such wild rages that Thomas was forced to commit him to an institution. Lesser events have destroyed relationships, so it would not be surprising to learn that Thomas abandoned Richard. She didn't. Instead, she sold their New York apartment, moved upstate to be near him, and acquired two more dogs to keep her company. What's more, she can't imagine life without her husband, saying, "It would be like falling through space with a parachute but no planet to land on." Thomas has elevated what could be, at best, an overemotional sermon or, at worst, a grim romp in self-pity to a high plain of true inspiration. Donna Chavez
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I admit to disappointment in this book. I expected it to be about a woman and her dogs, maybe a tribute to female strength amid the comfort of caring for her dogs. Read morePublished 1 month ago by dolly and me
Love this book, but I love anything Abigail Thomas writes. Evocative, sad and well-written, so honest and sweet I exhaled in sadness when it was finished.Published 1 month ago by LG
It was a quick read, thought provoking. I would recommend it for a serious read.Published 1 month ago by Ro
What a waste of my money! This was one of the most depressing, disjointed books I have ever read. The author merely used this book as her personal counseling session.Published 1 month ago by marijane imburgia
I appreciated her perspective on the situation, and appreciated her sharing it. The title was very appropriate. Read morePublished 1 month ago by rbeelee