Friday, July 13, 2012

Charlie, A Love Story by Barbara Lampert

Article first published as Book Review: Charlie, A Love Story by Barbara Lampert on Blogcritics.

To many, a family pet is just that-a companion and friend. To others the family pet is a member of the family, treasured as such and treated as any other members within the family. To those who know what I am talking about, that noble creature whether large or small encompasses us with their warmth and intelligence.
In Charlie: A love story, by Barbara Lampert, we are introduced to her best friend and child. Charlie is a beautiful golden retriever and becomes Barbara’s constant companion. Vacations and work often revolve around him and his place in her family’s life.
Lampert has shared with us a very personal journey, the time in Charlie’s life when she realizes that he is growing old and ill. Her tender and harrowing relationship as she and her husband do everything in their power for their great hearted friend is both poignant and beautiful.  The love is amazing, and the lengths that this family goes through to make Charlie’s last years as dignified and pain free as possible, borders on the depths of hell we will try for any of our beloved family.
Part of what they share together is their home and garden, and as we follow the life and travails, we are also introduced into the beauty of new growth and flowers on the property as that sheen of an old friend begins to fade away. The tendrils are twined in such a fashion that you take strength from the beauty of the flowers, and Charlie’s effervescent presence manifests a sort of peace through it all.
It is brave to put your heart in the open, and yet this is such a beautiful tribute to such a wonderful soul, the work is difficult to put down. Charlie is now in my heart as well, and as you too are caught up in the images of his life, you will find this a difficult story to forget.
This is a wonderful book for those who love their animals, as well as those who find beauty in most things. It would be a wonderful book for a book club or discussion group, with merits that would fit into any conversation.
Be prepared to laugh and cry as you are swept away on a journey from the heart, because that is exactly what this is. Such a bond is sacred and yet as always we must move on. Knowing that you have done everything in your power to give this great friend dignity is such a lesson of love. Take a chance and see if you don’t agree, we are much sadder for never having known such a wonderful creature. 

Charlie: A Love Story Book Summary

Charlie: A Love Story tells of the beautiful love between Charlie, a Golden Retriever, and the author, Barbara Lampert. It takes place in Malibu, California. When Charlie turned eleven years old and started having some health problems, a journal Barbara was keeping about her garden quickly became mostly about Charlie.

Charlie: A Love Story is an intimate look at an incredible connection between a canine and a human. And as a psychotherapist who specializes in relationships, Barbara brings that sensibility and understanding to Charlie’s story as well.

Charlie was Barbara’s loyal confidante and best friend. He was indomitable, had a zest for life and an uncanny emotional intelligence. As Barbara says in her book:

“Charlie’s a big dog, not just physically but in every way. He has a big heart, a big smile, lots of courage, a big appetite, and a great, big, generous spirit. Charlie’s the emotional core of our family, the most solid being I have ever known, and wise beyond his years. Charlie and me. It’s a great love affair, a once-in-a-lifetime connection.”

Charlie: A Love Story is about devotion, joy, loss, and renewal, about never giving up or giving in. But mostly it’s about an extraordinary dog and an extraordinary relationship.
Barbara Lampert's Bio:
Barbara Lampert is a Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in relationships. She’s been in private practice in Brentwood, California for over twenty years. She considers her work a calling and loves what she does. She has a doctorate in medical sociology and two master’s degrees – one in psychology and one in sociology.

Barbara has adored dogs her whole life. They’re her passion! She considers them the magic on the planet. Barbara has had dogs most of her life and hopes to have at least one by her side always. She notes that for a lot of people, their dogs are their best friends. She loves helping people know that’s ok – that a soul-satisfying relationship may be found with any being and needs to be treasured.

Besides her love of dogs, Barbara is an avid gardener and finds herself gardening in much of her spare time. She sees her garden as a work of art. She loves being in nature – the miracle of growth, the ever-changing landscape, its beauty.

Today Barbara lives happily in Malibu, California with her husband David (married twenty-eight years!) and their six-year-old Golden Retriever, Harry.

Barbara hopes that Charlie: A Love Story will be a tribute not only to a magnificent dog but to all dogs everywhere.

Paperback & ebookPrice: $14.95 paperback, $9.99 ebook
Publisher: Langdon St. Press
ISBN: 9781936782253
Pages: 204
Release: January 2012


Unknown said...

This seems like a wonderful book. Dogs are such wonderful friends and it's hard when they're no longer with us. I'm sure many readers will go through this with a box of tissues by their side.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for your exquisite, touching words and thoughts about my book! I am so appreciative!
My best to you and your readers!

Tribute Books said...

Leslie, you had me tearing up with this one. Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt review of Barbara's book.