JUST LIFE: a gripping story of broken humans, targeted dogs, and redemption

Posted: May 28, 2016 in Uncategorized
From now on, I will know what to expect from a Neil Abramson novel: LIFE! Teeming with LIFE, his sophomore novel tells the story of Sam Lewis, veterinarian and operator of a no-kill animal shelter, who is facing a scenario that is the nightmare of every animal lover: dogs are suspected of carrying a virus with devastating effects on children.
I loved UNSAID, the debut novel of Mr. Abramson, for the powerful bond between humans and animals that it so beautifully described, as well as  the complex descriptions of what death means for humans and animals alike. With JUST LIFE, he proved that he can definitely up the ante.
I loved every character of this book. From Sam, who loves dogs with all her heart and is facing her traumatic past, to her estranged father, Dr. Daniel Lewis, to Andy, the troubled young musician who loves dogs with all his heart, Father Gabriel, an elderly, illness-struck priest with a heart of gold(read this book), everyone here is in need of an answer to whether there’s a question mark or an exclamation mark after the two words in the title. I loved how each of these characters are flawed in one way or another, but not less likable. Even Dr. Jacqueline Morgan, the “villain” of the piece is a complex character that is not 100% evil or cartoonish, but just considers herself entitled to her purpose. The novel is very timely, given the paranoid obsession that our world has in regard to pandemics. There are some instances of animal cruelty, but it is so heartwarming to follow the efforts of deeply flawed, but essentially kind souls trying to help them, that they should not be a problem for any reader. I love this book even more than I loved UNSAID. Thanks so much, Mr. Abramson! Great, great job! 10 outta 5 for a solid sophomore novel!

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