The Thing Is
By Kathleen Gerard
Genre: Women’s Fiction
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.
I am trying to process my thoughts after reading the end of The Thing Is. I did not see that one coming, but it was very creative and appropriate. The main character, Meredith, shares the spotlight with a Yorkshire terrier, Prozac. Their meeting is not by chance. Prozac is a therapy dog who is also a spiritual guide dog, but the humans don't know that part. They come together in a time where Meredith is grieving over the loss of her boyfriend. I love that the author told part of the story from Prozac's perspective! This story is funny, heart-warming, and full of hope. I give it 5 stars!! Great job, Ms. Gerard!
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 andy're a contributor to Shelf Awareness and maintains the blog, "Reading Between the Lines."