Cannonball Read IV #58
In The Blessings of the Animals by Katrina Kittle, we meet Cami Anderson, a vet whose life is suddenly really, really hard. She finds herself the divorced mother of a teenage daughter running a vet business of her own. Her closest friend is getting married and her daughter’s love life develops its own complications. Through it all, Cami is guided by the lofty goal of taming a wild, abused horse – a horse who somehow grounds her.
What a great read! You know, I really cannot think of anything about this book that I didn’t like. First of all, the characters, which are such a critical part of any story, were real to me, and funny, and easily deserving of my sympathy. What I think Kittle does well is put ordinary characters into real-life situations and The Blessings of the Animals is no exception to this. A divorce. Your best friend is your ex’s sister. Your best friend is getting married right after your divorce. Your Italian in-laws don’t accept that you’re getting divorced. Your daughter has problems in her own relationship. You have work troubles. Check check check. It’s all there. Some might argue that these things, all of these weird involvements and plot points, are too melodramatic, but I argue exactly the opposite – they make the book so much more real! I felt like I knew Cami and Olive and Gabriella and the rest of the supporting characters. I can handle any book when I feel like it’s about people I know who are my friends.
Oh, there was one thing that I didn’t love – the book was mostly told from Cami’s POV, but every once in a while, there was an odd chapter told from someone else’s POV. While I usually enjoy books like this, it wasn’t the best literary technique for this book, simply because too much of the book is from Cami’s eyes to make a few random chapters from other people worth it.