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Book Title: Thomasina|
Loaded: 2988 times
Reader ratings: 5.1
The author of the book: Paul Gallico
Edition: International Polygonics
Date of issue: January 28th 1989
ISBN 13: 9780930330934
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 653 KB
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books:
From what I knew (or thought I knew) about this book, I’d expected an adventure story of cat who gets put down but manages to survive and find her way back to her girl—and a children’s story. But while it was that at one level, it was so much more, and certainly not a children’s story. It is the story of the bond between human beings and animals on a broader level and also between one little girl Mary Ruadh and her cat Thomasina. But that bond unfortunately isn’t quite understood for a time by her father, the veterinary Andrew MacDhui, who is an embittered man, his wishes and ambitions thwarted by fate and in a place where he treats his patients efficiently for the most part but doesn’t feel for them or treat them as anything more than subjects, and his work as much more than a job. That failure to understand what an animal might mean to his person and vice versa prevents him, perhaps, from doing his job perhaps as well as he could. (And while I understood what he may have been suffering and even to an extent why Mr MacDhui may have done what he did with Thomasina, I couldn’t really like him much). But all that changes when he meets Lori, the ‘red witch’ who is in every possible way his polar opposite—someone I could relate to a lot—and it is her love and compassion that transform his life completely.
This story is also one of faith and how that helps different people in different ways—Mr MacDhui questions god and why people keep turning to him for he has been disappointed so many times. Yet eventually he finds the kind of faith, a kind of prayer that helps him too. The book goes into may philosophical questions too—of faith in particular, and (what was more interesting to me) of what constitutes ‘normal’ when we talk of life and ways of living.
And then of course, there is Thomasina herself, who story we see both in third person and who speaks to us directly—how she relates to Mary Ruadh, who she loves as dearly as Mary Ruadh does her (though she may not always want to admit it).
A wonderful read—but it did bring tears in my eyes more than once as there are moments when your heart simply breaks. I wish though that in one respect (aside from the ‘main’ storyline), Gallico had given it more of a story book end.
4 and a half stars
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Read information about the authorPaul William Gallico was born in New York City, on 26th July, 1897. His father was an Italian, and his mother came from Austria; they emigrated to New York in 1895.
He went to school in the public schools of New York, and in 1916 went to Columbia University. He graduated in 1921 with a Bachelor of Science degree, having lost a year and a half due to World War I. He then worked for the National Board of Motion Picture Review, and after six months took a job as the motion picture critic for the New York Daily News. He was removed from this job as his "reviews were too Smart Alecky" (according to Confessions of a Story Teller), and took refuge in the sports department.
During his stint there, he was sent to cover the training camp of Jack Dempsey, and decided to ask Dempsey if he could spar with him, to get an idea of what it was like to be hit by the world heavyweight champion. The results were spectacular; Gallico was knocked out within two minutes. But he had his story, and from there his sports-writing career never looked back.
He became Sports Editor of the Daily News in 1923, and was given a daily sports column. He also invented and organised the Golden Gloves amateur boxing competition. During this part of his life, he was one of the most well-known sporting writers in America, and a minor celebrity. But he had always wanted to be a fiction writer, and was writing short stories and sports articles for magazines like Vanity Fair and the Saturday Evening Post. In 1936, he sold a short story to the movies for $5000, which gave him a stake. So he retired from sports writing, and went to live in Europe, to devote himself to writing. His first major book was Farewell to Sport, which as the title indicates, was his farewell to sports writing.
Though his name was well-known in the United States, he was an unknown in the rest of the world. In 1941, the Snow Goose changed all that, and he became, if not a best-selling author by today's standards, a writer who was always in demand. Apart from a short spell as a war correspondent between 1943 and 1946, he was a full-time freelance writer for the rest of his life. He has lived all over the place, including England, Mexico, Lichtenstein and Monaco, and he lived in Antibes for the last years of his life.
He was a first-class fencer, and a keen deep-sea fisherman. He was married four times, and had several children.
He died in Antibes on 15th July, 1976, just short of his 79th birthday.
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