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Download A Year of Cats and Dogs Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample A Year of Cats and Dogs (Unabridged), by Margaret Hawkins
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (100 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret Hawkins Narrator: Heather Henderson Publisher: Cornerstone Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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What happens when nothing happens? Maryanne wonders in A Year of Cats and Dogs, a darkly funny yet hopeful novel about a woman in mid-life who feels surrounded by death. She answers her own question by deciding to find out.

I wanted to embrace entropy, to stop working so hard at keeping things up, to go AWOL from the productive world I'd so long been a part of, she tells us at the beginning of the novel. The clearer it became that Phillip wasn't coming back, the more I wanted to hurry up and let things go just to see what would happen.

As it turns out, a lot happens. Even as Maryanne's world slows down and comes apart, curious revelations begin to emerge about the daily life she's formerly taken for granted. She discovers she can hear the thoughts of animals, starting with her own opinionated dog and cat. Then the veterinarian at the animal shelter where she volunteers offers her a job as a dog whisperer and asks her on a date to his mother's funeral. When her father falls ill, she is reunited with her estranged sister, and when he dies they learn about his secret life.

The book contains recipes for the consoling, if plain, foods Maryanne cooks for her family and friends, along with the inner dialog that accompanies them, and each chapter is linked to a corresponding chapter in the I Ching, reflecting that book's age-old wisdom, which says that sometimes no action is the best action of all.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Stephanie | 2/15/2014

    " Overall, a "meh" book. Not terrible, not amazing.... Just meh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Janeene | 2/6/2014

    " the title drew me in - and I enjoyed this book. The author had a way of describing her feelings about her divorce in a way that I related to. And of course enjoyed the animals! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Anastasia Hobbet | 12/13/2013

    " The first half of this quirky first-person POV debut novel delighted me so much that I sent a note to the author through the publisher telling her I took it with me to the doctor's office and hoped the doctor would be running late so I could read and read and read in the waiting room. The main character, an under-achieving middle-aged woman, puts her past behind her and finds that she can read the minds of her pets, and vice versa. That sounds corny, I know, but this writer pulls it off, so convincingly, and with such humor, that I found myself thinking, Of course we can read one another's minds! Why not? But then the author, like her protagonist, wanders off from the life she's made, and the book falls away, losing its focus, its intention, and much of its sense of humor. What happened? This might have been THE book to head up my end of the year gift-list must-buys for literary friends. It was headed there. For the dry humor and spirit of the first half of the book, I still rate it highly--and I'll look for novel #2 from Margaret Hawkins. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jean | 12/5/2013

    " Dog whisperer. Middle aged woman coping on her own. The best! "

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About the Author

Margaret Hawkins is the author of two previous novels, A Year of Cats and Dogs and How to Survive a Natural Disaster, as well as a memoir about her sister, After Schizophrenia: The Story of My Sister’s Reawakening. She has also written for the Chicago Sun-Times and is a senior lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.