The Blessings of the Animals
August 2010 Indie Next List
— Jill Miner, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
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“[A] beautifully crafted novel….A must-read not only for animal lovers, but for anyone who has found the courage to come back from heartbreak and find love again, without reservation, without fear.”
—Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants
“A marvelous page-turner, a story of an unexpected heartbreak and the unexpected blessings that result. I didn’t want to put this book down!”
— Ellen Baker, author of Keeping the House
“Wonderfully poignant characters and a deeply satisfying exploration of love in its many incarnations…make this novel Katrina Kittle’s most insightful yet.”
—Lesley Kagen, New York Times bestselling author of Tomorrow River
From Katrina Kittle, the critically acclaimed author of The Kindness of Strangers, comes The Blessings of the Animals—a wry, engrossing, and moving story of a veterinarian’s journey through the aftermath of divorce amidst a motley crew of beasts.
Praise For The Blessings of the Animals: A Novel…
“Wonderfully poignant characters and a deeply satisfying exploration of love in its many incarnations, some of them a bit furrier than others, make this novel Katrina Kittle’s most insightful yet. Don’t miss it!” — Lesley Kagen, New York Times bestselling author of Tomorrow River
William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780061906077, 464pp.
Publication Date: August 3, 2010
About the Author
Katrina Kittle is the author of Traveling Light, Two Truths and a Lie, and The Kindness of Strangers, which received the Great Lakes Book Award for Fiction. She lives in Dayton, Ohio.
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. The last line of Chapter Two has Cami entering the house (where Bobby will leave her), remembering the time she tried to touch a tornado. She thinks, “How could I have been so certain I wouldn’t be hurt?” How does the tornado story parallel marriage?
2. How does the Bobby chapter affect your reading of the story? Without his point of view, what would be different for you? What does he think that you wish he’d tell Cami? What things do both Bobby and Cami misinterpret in each others’ actions?
3. Discuss the importance of the scarred Passier saddle in light of what Cami learns about her parents’ marriage.
4. Why is it so important for Cami to ask Bobby if he wants to work on the marriage? Would you have done the same thing? Or is this another example of her not knowing when to quit?
5. Why is it important for Cami to reclaim “Bobby’s” kitchen? How does Muriel help with this decision?
6. What are the blessings of the animals? What gift does each of the three main animals (Moonshot, Gerald, and Muriel) give to Cami? How do these rescue animals end up rescuing her? What final gift or lesson does Luna bring at the end?
7. In what ways do the Davids epitomize the marriage vows they are not allowed to make?
8. Discuss Cami’s reaction to Vijay’s proposal. Are her concerns justified? Is she making a mistake?
9. Cami comes to believe that Bobby gave her a gift the day he walked out. Do you agree or disagree?
10. Cami and Vijay love each other but Vijay says, “And that’s not enough.” Is he right? Is this a true assessment when considering forming a life together?
11. After the disastrous wedding shower for Olive, what “advice” would you offer to newlyweds?
12. Is Cami right to think “What a risk love was.” How do you feel about her final thoughts, “We were all—every one of us—rushing out into the hail. Dancing out into the hail every single day”? What does she mean?