Good Grief: On Loving Pets, Here and Hereafter

HarperAudio. Aug. 2022. 5:47 hrs. ISBN 9780358449430. $21.99. PETS
Bartels has had more pets than most, with animals ranging from fish to birds to dogs, and everything else in between. While we have rituals and traditions to mark the passing of humans, we do not always have those for our beloved companion animals. And, often, the grief for a pet is seen as less than that of grief for a human loved one. Bartels explores the various traditions and beliefs that cultures around the world have for pets. She also shares stories of her beloved animals. Narrator Eileen Stevens gives a nuanced performance, skillfully conveying the more poignant moments of the book as well as the lighter sections, making this potentially heavy topic more accessible. Bartel shows that grief transcends not only time and space, but also species, and that our grief for lost animals is just as real as it is for our human family.
VERDICT Bartel’s debut is sure to appeal to animal lovers. Recommend to fans of Caitlin Doughty’s Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Mary Roach’s Stiff.
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