Meredith Mancuso is depressed. Ever since the death of her fiancé, she has shrunk from the world. Even with her successful writing career, she's not motivated to work. When her sister, Monica, begs for a favor, Meredith wants nothing more than to say no. But she’s ultimately roped into pet-sitting an orphaned Yorkshire terrier named Prozac.
Blessed with spiritual wisdom and a high IQ, Prozac is an active pet therapy dog. To heal broken-hearted Meredith, he rallies his fan club at Evergreen Gardens, an independent living facility, where he visits each week.
Prozac and the community of resilient older folks challenged by losses of their own propel Meredith, often against her will, back into the land of the living. Meredith learns that most people carry some sort of burden, but it's still possible to find meaning, purpose, and joy—and sometimes, even love—along the way.
MY REVIEW: Kathleen Gerard is a talented storyteller who takes on the subjects of life and death, and what happens in-between, in "The Thing Is". With the help of a super-smart little Yorkie, who happens to be "Spirit Guide Dog", the author weaves together the threads of the lives of individuals at varying stages in their journey from their time on Earth to their after-life final destination. "Prozac", with his keen intelligence, his nose for sniffing out the heart of the matter, and his dear little "woofie face", is serving this incarnation of his own existence as a pet therapy dog. Meredith Mancuso, a writer deeply grieving the unexpected, violent death of her fiancé, connects with Prozac when she is inveigled by her sister to care for the little darling while his elderly owner, Helen, recovers from an injury. Realizing how much Meredith needs his help, Prozac enlists the aide of his friends and fans at Evergreen Gardens, an independent living facility where he visits once a week. With the help of a small, but mighty, spiritual guide, and a sassy, savvy group of seniors, Meredith may just let go of the past, return to the land of the living, and reach out for a second chance at love. Life is always more or less than you expect--it is never exactly what you envision. However, keep the faith, and remember that "sweet" will always be the second half of "bittersweet".
Review Copy Gratis Author
"A story brimming with humor and heart, and an ending that's as unexpected as it is satisfying." -- Claire Ashby, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the novel, When You Make it Home "Great story! Unexpected, delightful, uniquely creative...Kathleen Gerard not only understands the canine brain, but she gets people too. The Thing Is reminds us of how intricate and interwoven relationships are--and Prozac teaches us about grace and unconditional love." -- Melody Carlson, author of the novels, The Christmas Joy Ride, Finding Alice, and The Christmas Dog
"Everyone could use a little Prozac. Kathleen Gerard's heartwarming and uplifting book will have you heading to a pound as soon as you put the book down (if you can ever manage to do it). An absolute page-turner, The Thing is provides all the proof you'll ever need that dogs are truly nothing less than Four Legged Angels." -- Mary Curran Hackett, author of the novels, Proof of Heaven and Proof of Angels
"Kathleen Gerard captures the powers of caring, connection, and resilience in her wonderful novel, The Thing Is. Prozac, the book's funny and wise canine hero, helps humans of all ages overcome their losses and grief, find happiness and adventure, and renew their joy in love and life." -- Susan Sipprelle, award-winning documentary filmmaker, Tree of Life Productions (Over 50 and Out of Work; Set for Life; Soldier On: Life After Deployment)
"A truly humorous twist on the issue of human frailty interacting with animal charm...offers a new take on grief recovery, which is both lighthearted and insightful!" -- Trudie Barreras, Amazon"Vine Voice" Top Reviewer
"Kathleen Gerard is a sterling storyteller who held my heart in her hands from start to finish. I recommend The Thing Is to everyone who is a pet lover (or not) and to anyone who is grieving or facing the unknown. The Thing Is brings hope, happiness, and new beginnings. This is my BEST read this year...kudos to Ms. Gerard. You nailed it!" -- Fresh Fiction (Pat Pascale, Book Reviewer)
Kathleen Gerard is a writer whose work has been awarded The Perillo Prize, The Eric Hoffer Prose Award and nominated for Best New American Voices and Short Story America, all national prizes in literature. Kathleen writes across genres. Her short prose and poetry have been widely published in magazines, journals and anthologies. Her essays have been broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR).
Kathleen’s woman-in-jeopardy novel In Transit won The New York Book Festival – “Best Romantic Fiction” (2011). Kathleen is a book reviewer for and a contributor to Shelf Awareness and maintains the blog, “Reading Between the Lines.”