Official Review: Soul Love:How A Dog Taught Me To Breathe...

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cpru68
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Official Review: Soul Love:How A Dog Taught Me To Breathe...

Post by cpru68 » 25 Jun 2018, 23:10

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Soul Love:How A Dog Taught Me To Breathe Again" by Teresa Q. Bitner.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever had an experience that was so traumatic that it felt as if someone threw a bomb into your existence wiping out everything that seemed familiar and stable? In her book, Soul Love: How A Dog Taught Me To Breathe Again, Teresa Q. Bitner gives readers a close-up view into a period of her life when her family was devastated by the swift and unexpected death of her husband, Kris.

From the opening pages of the book, the author spares no time drawing you into her tumultuous home life of raising two teenage boys. She takes the reader back to October 2009 where she recollects the details of an evening that most of us would probably forget. But, this is the last night of her twenty-year marriage, so it would seem that this is forever etched in her mind. By the next day, she is sitting in a room surrounded by faculty at the school where she was a sixth-grade science teacher, being questioned by a state patrol officer about her husband. This is the onset of being plunged into a world of heart-shattering agony.

As part of her new normal, Teresa buys a Doberman puppy she names Hans who becomes her sounding board for tears and frustration as she spends many evenings on the couch cuddling him near. Interestingly, Hans has a lot to say, and he is given a voice to express his point of view. He believes that God has sent him on a mission to help the family deal with the tragedy that has overtaken them.

At first, the dog explaining his version of events felt slightly out of place. Naturally, there is pain vented in many of the pages including massive amounts of cursing as rage is in full swing. While immersed in an intense roller coaster of emotions, I was suddenly reading a softer, gentler tone. I noticed that the font changed which indicated that this was Hans speaking. The entries grew on me as I realized that I have applied human qualities to my pets when their tails are wagging, and their eyes are looking at me in adoration. By the end of the book, I was looking forward to what Hans had to say.

The best part of the story for me was to witness the author's transformation from extreme depression to ultimate joy. She was handed a life of broken pieces that she had to figure out how to put together. The heavy burdens of managing a house, a career and raising her children were all thrust upon her as her support system was ripped away. Yet, she got out of bed every day and little by little, she and her boys reached milestones and built a life for themselves on solid ground.

The only drawback was I was given a PDF to review that had the words ARC-Advanced Reader Copy printed diagonally across each page. At times, this text made it difficult for me to proofread. However, the actual book will not have this in it, so that should not be a problem for a reader. As far as typos and errors, I found only a few that can easily be fixed. Mainly, it was commas that were missing from compound sentences and didn't take away from the quality of the reading experience. I would recommend another round of editing, however, to make sure that the writing is as perfect as possible.

This book will appeal to a broad audience because of its theme of dealing with untimely death but also for those who are dog enthusiasts. As I stated earlier, the language in this book is coarse, but it serves a purpose as part of the process of grief and not just thrown in as an afterthought. However, if that is offensive, then this may not be the book for you.

For its profoundly inspiring message to encourage and uplift those who are hurting, I am giving this book a 4 out of 4 stars. I think many will fall in love with Hans the Doberman.

******
Soul Love:How A Dog Taught Me To Breathe Again
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arcie72
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Post by arcie72 » 02 Jul 2018, 00:27

The sounds like a wonderful and heartfelt book. Healing takes many forms and the use of Hans as a support/comfort pet is a great addition. I would read this book after your review. Thank you for a well written review.

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Post by stacie k » 02 Jul 2018, 00:47

It’s amazing how pets can be such a pivotal part of our healing. I love how Hans was given a voice and has a God-given mission. The language will bother me to a degree, but as you pointed out, it’s realistic given intensity of emotion experienced.
“The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable.” Proverbs 15:2a

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Post by Psychgee12 » 02 Jul 2018, 02:29

Very nice story.. Depressiob is deadly but someone or a pet may come in your life to wipe depressions away and feel reborn again..

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Post by Jolie ann Vargas » 02 Jul 2018, 04:02

I became more interested on the story because of your review. Thumbs up to you! I love dogs but now I even love them more because of Hans. I like the author's idea that the dog like Hans can help the depress people to cope up with their loneliness. It happens in real life story.

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Post by kandscreeley » 02 Jul 2018, 08:53

Wow! I can't even imagine losing my husband. I'm glad that she found something to help her through, even if it was her dog "speaking" to her. My cat speaks to me, so I can see how that would be a great comfort. It also sounds like it would make for a very interesting albeit emotional read. Thanks!
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Post by Britty01 » 02 Jul 2018, 09:32

This sounds like a really good book, even if there is some bad language. I feel it would help others who have suffered similar loss. Hans the dog sounds like he was a great comfort during this awful period of her life.

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Post by mac83 » 02 Jul 2018, 09:46

Your review makes this book sound amazing. I've never doubted an animal's ability to heal. I think it is great the author captured this in the book. I also love that the book ends on a happier note than it started. Great review!

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Post by SamSim » 02 Jul 2018, 11:53

I can't fathom losing my husband and having to move forward and raise my children without him! I can empathize with the healing power of dogs, though - at my lowest point, I adopted a dog and she was my motivation to get out of bed. I don't know what I would have done without her. I like the unique aspect of telling a true story from one's life but including the fictionalized dog-thoughts. I want to read it just because I love dogs and I've not heard of a book quite like this. Thanks for the great review!
Samantha Simoneau

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Post by Dahmy 10 » 02 Jul 2018, 12:03

Little grammatical errors, awesome storyline with animal conversation (lol), and great motivation, I can imagine this book being a beautiful read.. I like it when authors are careful to put their readers into consideration, I saw this here where you said the author changed the font for Hans conversation, that's beautiful...

Thanks for this review..

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Post by teacherjh » 02 Jul 2018, 14:30

This sounds like an amazing book. I have a friend who went through depression and credits her dog of keeping her going.

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Post by KitabuKitamu » 02 Jul 2018, 19:20

The world is such a better place with animals to keep us company, both wild and tame. I think to some extent they offer a form of therapy and escape if they're fun to be around. Looks like an inspiring book for those struggling through similar circumstances.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 02 Jul 2018, 20:52

I can only imagine how painful the author's struggle must have been after losing her husband. It's such a creative approach to have Hans' point of view as being on a mission to help heal the family. He seems quite endearing and this sounds like an uplifting tale--or should I say tail? Sorry, I couldn't resist :wink:

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Post by kdstrack » 02 Jul 2018, 21:47

Sounds like a good mix of two emotional extremes - death and new life. This sounds like a very interesting book and I like how you have described it. Good job!

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Post by Sharon serena » 03 Jul 2018, 01:15

Every person has experienced grief in one way or the other. In most cases, we are able to move on because of friends and families and in rear cases these companions are pets. I love that this book may inspire people to love their pets more as it also encourage them to move on in life. Thanks for the detailed review.

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