Marley & Me
Written By: John Grogan
Published By: William Morrow
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Before I saw the movie based on the novel by John Grogan, a co-worker warned me that Marley & Me was not the film I thought it was. She told me that I would be sobbing my eyes out by the end of the film and she was right. But, feeling that I hadn't suffered enough from puffy, red eyes, I had to read the book the movie was based on.
John Grogan's description of how his life was impacted by the addition of an overactive Labrador with a tremendous sense of loyalty and lovable personality was what I everything I expected and more. I loved reading about Marley and his antics from puppy to adulthood. I enjoyed reading about the lessons he taught his family regarding love, loyalty, positive outlooks and more.
But mostly, I loved this book because John never gave up on Marley. I have my own Marley of sorts. Her name is Chloe and she is unlike any cat I have ever had the pleasure of sharing my home with. She was somewhat bossy when she first arrived, but was so tiny and adorable that you overlooked the bossiness. But then there was the hyperactivity...the nutty racing around the house, the eating of inedible things, the stealing of my possessions and making them her toys (despite all the toys she had already been showered with) and the destruction of prized possessions, things I had owned for years knocked over and destroyed simply because they were within reach and made satisfying noises when knocked down/nibbled. And that defiant attitude - the nips when she decides to correct your behavior, the pouncing on your gut just because, the grabbing of your leg and biting as if you are a new toy.
Chloe has never grown out of the kitten stage and she's already three years old. But, just when you want to be mad at her, she looks at you with that adorable kitten face and snuggles into your lap, reaching up to touch your face lightly with her paw and you melt. All is forgiven. Why? Because through all the terrors, real animal lovers adore the pets we share our homes with and wouldn't have it any other way.
When Chloe finally starts to slow down just like Marley eventually did, I will be sad. And it's for that reason that I was brought to tears reading this book, despite knowing the ending. I understood all to well what Grogan was feeling when he knew Marley was reaching his final days. I know just how I will feel in the twilight of my Chloe years.
It is for the light and happy moments, as well as the bittersweet ones, that I recommend Marley & Me to all of the animal lovers out there...all those owned by their pets and proud to admit it.