Monday, July 9, 2012

Charlie: A love story - blog tour and review!

Welcome to the Charlie: A Love Story blog tour!!!!  Today's memoir is one that all animal lovers will absolutely fall in love with, your heart will melt and you will not want to read this memoir without the biggest box of tissues you can buy.  I have a review of Charlie today for you, and even writing the review I was teary-eyed.  **Some spoilers are contained in the review below, read at your own risk!**

Title: Charlie: A Love Story 
Author: Barbara Lampert
Rating: 4 stars (review under the description)
(Because one description isn't enough... here are three!)
Charlie: A Love Story tells of the beautiful love between Charlie, a Golden Retriever, and the author, Barbara Lampert. It takes place in Malibu, California. When Charlie turned eleven years old and started having some health problems, a journal Barbara was keeping about her garden quickly became mostly about Charlie.

Charlie: A Love Story is an intimate look at an incredible connection between a canine and a human. And as a psychotherapist who specializes in relationships, Barbara brings that sensibility and understanding to Charlie’s story as well.

Charlie was Barbara’s loyal confidante and best friend. He was indomitable, had a zest for life and an uncanny emotional intelligence. As Barbara says in her book:

“Charlie’s a big dog, not just physically but in every way. He has a big heart, a big smile, lots of courage, a big appetite, and a great, big, generous spirit. Charlie’s the emotional core of our family, the most solid being I have ever known, and wise beyond his years. Charlie and me. It’s a great love affair, a once-in-a-lifetime connection.”

Charlie: A Love Story is about devotion, joy, loss, and renewal, about never giving up or giving in. But mostly it’s about an extraordinary dog and an extraordinary relationship. (end)

Now on to the review...

Charlie: A Love Story is a beautiful story about a woman and her dog.  They have an extremely close relationship that resembles that of a mother and infant or *sole mates* (husband and wife).  Charlie is always with Barbara, and vice versa, they need each other to have a good day and feel truly happy.  Barbara did a wonderful job with keeping the story moving along.  It is broken down into the days of a journal, which helps break down and show you the *real* time line all of the events occurred on.  Barbara has an emotional writing style that is a breath of fresh air.  She fills her pages with raw emotion, whether it be tears, heart break, joy, happiness, passion, it is very clear that she wrote this memoir to remember her best friend forever.  I highly recommend not reading this at work or in public because you will cry at least once.  I'm not a big crier with books, but I balled for two hours with this one... and that's a good thing!

I'm giving this memoir 4 out of 5 stars because I wish there were more happy stories mixed in with the sad stories.  The overall tone of the memoir was very sad and almost beaten down.  I wanted so much to go through and fill it with even more happy puppy days memories, and funny things Charlie and Barbara did together.  Barbara did try to keep it light hearted and true to the journal by adding in the stories she remembered, and adding in things about gardening and work.  There were pictures of Barbara, Charlie, and the garden and Barbara's other two dogs in the memoir to really drive home the raw emotion.  I especially loved the photographs.  I liked this memoir, it really hit home for me too...

I almost lost my dachshund less than nine months ago to a very rare blood disease.  He's going to have this disease for the rest of his life and it can relapse at any moment (not cancer).  I cried through the book remembering the tragedy of almost loosing my little doxie, especially since he was two weeks shy of his 3rd birthday at the time.

So the morals of this story are...keep your friends close, but your pets closer.  Love your pets even when they are sick.  And always keep a box of tissues handy when reading a sad book about a cute, cuddly, furry friend.

About Barbara:
Barbara Lampert is a Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in relationships. She’s been in private practice in Brentwood, California for over twenty years. She considers her work a calling and loves what she does. She has a doctorate in medical sociology and two master’s degrees – one in psychology and one in sociology.

Barbara has adored dogs her whole life. They’re her passion! She considers them the magic on the planet. Barbara has had dogs most of her life and hopes to have at least one by her side always. She notes that for a lot of people, their dogs are their best friends. She loves helping people know that’s ok – that a soul-satisfying relationship may be found with any being and needs to be treasured.

Besides her love of dogs, Barbara is an avid gardener and finds herself gardening in much of her spare time. She sees her garden as a work of art. She loves being in nature – the miracle of growth, the ever-changing landscape, its beauty.

Today Barbara lives happily in Malibu, California with her husband David (married twenty-eight years!) and their six-year-old Golden Retriever, Harry.  Barbara hopes that Charlie: A Love Story will be a tribute not only to a magnificent dog but to all dogs everywhere.

Follow Barbara on Facebook, her website, and Goodreads.  Follow the rest of the blog tour stops here.  To purchase a copy of Charlie, go to Amazon (paperback), Amazon Kindle, on Barbara's website, Nook, or from B&N (paperback).  Now go hug your pets and tell them you love them all so much you'll never ever forget them!  Happy Blog Tour Day!!


Tribute Books said...

Hilary, thanks for the review! :)

HilyBee said...

You're welcome! :D

Barbara Lampert said...

Thanks for hosting me on your site! And thank you for your heartfelt review of my book!
My best to you, your readers, and your little doxie,

HilyBee said...

Thank you Barbara! :D