Rita Mae Brown's earliest memory is of the soothing purr of Mickey, her family's long-haired tiger cat, who curled up and claimed a spot in her crib. From there, a steady parade of cats, dogs, horses, and all manner of two- and four-legged critters have walked, galloped, and flown into and through her world. In Animal Magnetism, the bestselling author shares the lessons she's learned from these marvelous creatures as well as her deep appreciation for them.
Brown readily admits that she prefers the company of animals to people, a trait handed down from her mother. After all, Brown explains, "There's no such thing as a dumb dog, but God knows there are continents filled with dumb humans." In fact, by observing the dogs on her farm, the horses in her stables, and the cats that have helped her flesh out her many novels, Brown has gained better insight into herself and other human beings-one need only look at a chicken coop, she once realized, to see its striking similarity to her mother's clucking and preening group of friends.
In hilarious and heartwarming stories, Brown introduces us to Franklin, a parrot with a wicked sense of humor; R.C., a courageous Doberman who defined loyalty and sacrifice; Suzie Q, the horse who taught her the meaning of hard work; Baby Jesus, a tough tiger cat from New York City with sharp teeth to match his attitude; and of course the beloved and prolific Sneaky Pie, who needs no introduction to her legions of fans. In her succinct and personable style, Brown also revisits the very human parts of her life-growing up in the segregated South, dealing with the pain and the loss of those dearest to her, and coming into her own as an adult and as a writer.
Every recollection here reveals nature's delight and wonder-and offers solid evidence of the ability of animals to love. As funny as it is poignant, Animal Magnetism shows how these inspiring creatures, great and small, can bring out the best in us, restore us to our greater selves, and even save our lives.
Brown, the best-selling author of over 30 books, including Rubyfruit Jungle and the Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries, celebrates the many creatures that have enriched her life and inspired her animal characters. Her first childhood friend was Mickey, a cat who taught her to play, followed by Chaps, a retriever who taught her not only animal communication but, most important, the enduring power of love. Brown's passion is fox hunting (for readers concerned with animal rights, she stresses the fox is not killed in the U.S. version of the sport), and she describes in detail her friendships with horses, hounds, and even the foxes. Sprinkled throughout Brown's memoir are snippets of her life story, her worldview, her political philosophy, and praise for her Southern heritage. VERDICT Fans of Brown's mysteries will clamor to meet the real-life models for Sneaky Pie Brown and other members of Brown's literary menagerie. This will also attract readers who enjoy heartwarming animal tales (e.g., Vicki Myron's Dewey). [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/09; library marketing.]-Florence Scarinci, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, NY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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October 11, 2009
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