When we lost our family Golden Retriever in January 2009 my husband couldn’t understand how I could read a book about a man and his best friend so soon after losing him, but for me reading Marley & Me was a huge source of comfort as it brought back lots of the lovely memories and joy that having a beloved family pet brings.
This book, although almost autobiographical was surprisingly easy to read – it was very witty, fast paced and contemporary. John Grogan writes very well and you very quickly are drawn into the story of himself and his wife Jenny as they decide in the early years of their marriage to test their parenting skills out by purchasing a puppy – Marley.
There were parts of this book that were laugh out loud funny, I also learned a great deal about labrador retrievers that I didn’t know which were pertinent as we began to consider other breeds for our next dog and I shed tears at the end as he described the very difficult task of being with your dog as the vet puts them to sleep – an experience very raw and recent for our family and in some ways it helped to know that the emotions we experienced after the event were not unique to our family.
This is a book that will appeal to dog owners everywhere – whether they have a young puppy, an older dog or have lost their beloved pet. My stepson cannot wait to see the film as he says it looks hysterical and whilst I also cannot wait to see it on screen I know I’ll always think back to how the book reached out to me at a time when I needed to find solace and remember the joys of being the owner of a dog who has devoted himself to your family.