Review of Me and Mr. Monks

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diana lowery
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Review of Me and Mr. Monks

Post by diana lowery »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Me and Mr. Monks" by Dawn M. Blair.]
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2 out of 5 stars
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D​awn M. Blair relates the touching story of a rescue dog who actually rescued her. This memoir, Me and Mr. Monks, describes the bond these two shared and the illnesses that defined their relationship. The dedication page reveals that Mr. Monks passed away, so his death is not a surprise event. W​hat is surprising is that half of the book covers the disease that Blair suffered from for years before it was diagnosed. She shares how much comfort Mr. Monks gave her as she struggled mentally and physically. Many of the stories are cute and lighthearted in spite of this trauma.

The book opens with a message from Mr. Monks' mom. Next, there is a passage called "The Beginning." Narrated by Mr. Monks, this is a unique way to start the story. Chapter 1, "The Rescue," begins on page 17, and the point of view changes to the first person narrated by the author. The setting is Richmond, Virginia. One story that stands out is the description of how Blair, a registered nurse, took Mr. Monks with her when she visited her hospice patients. The dog's personality helped families who were going through a difficult time. Blair also took her pet to assisted living communities, retirement homes, and hospitals.

A​lthough Blair and her husband also had several pit bull rescue dogs, this little Griffonshire ruled the household. Mr. Monks became a celebrity in the town and was photographed frequently in his holiday attire. Because they were so close, his passing was especially hard, and Blair describes her grieving process in depth. She attributes a pet grief support group with helping her overcome serious depression.

​The author's sincerity and courage in sharing the details of her life are the main reasons for reading this poignant story. Unfortunately, there are several reasons to not read this book. First, the abundance of grammatical errors is annoying. Second, many scenes are repeated; the chronology is off and difficult to follow. Events were recalled unnecessarily, and it affected the flow of the story. Third, the relationship between Blair and her husband was not adequately addressed, and it felt incomplete.

I have deducted a star for each of the three negatives. My rating is two out of five stars. Readers who have lost a beloved pet would benefit from reading Blair's account. The plentiful photographs of Mr. Monks are my favorite part of this book and dog lovers would enjoy them, too.

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Me and Mr. Monks
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AllTooWell
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Post by AllTooWell »

I am sad about your rating of this book, as I was looking forwards to reading it. I also have a rescue dog that ended up rescuing me, and I could relate to the author, but I also think that a repetitive book, as emotional and lovely as it could be does not deserve to be read without some editing.
Nwoko E
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Post by Nwoko E »

The author's sincerity and courage in sharing the details of her life are the main reason for reading this poignant story. Great review.
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