Ever since the death of her fiancé, Meredith Mancuso 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.
This was such a wonderful read, both touching and funny. A disclaimer, since it wasn’t really mentioned in the description, Prozac is a dog that has been reincarnated many times. There are a couple of scenes where he is in (what I imagine to be) heaven, talking with the committee that will determine where he will be placed next. I thought it added a unique twist to the story, and for me didn’t distract from the book.
The narration alternates between Prozac (who is very smart, and understands everything that is going on), and Meredith. Prozac added humor to the story with his amusing antics. The character growth in this book is done very well. At first Meredith and Prozac do not get along, and honestly I wasn’t a huge fan of Meredith. I mean, how can you not love a cute and understanding dog like Prozac. But her growth, not only with the dog, but the people they visit at Evergreen Gardens, made me change my mind about her.
The characters at Evergreen Gardens are written very well too. They seemed so full of life, and they personalities were so much fun. When I’m older, I hope I find a community like this to live in. There was also some surprise to be found at the Gardens. People who came off one way, turned out differently once we got to know them.
Although this seems like a light read from my description, there were also some heavy topics. The loss of loved ones, depression, and finding companionship made me shed a few tears. With summer coming up, I can see this being a wonderful beach read.