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As he did in UNSAID Neil Abramson explores the interconnectedness of humans and the animals we share our homes and lives with in a timely novel that will resonate long after you've turned the last page An unidentified virus is spreading through the New York City neighborhood of Riverside near Central Park Despite the desperate need for answers the medical community can only determine the cause is zoonotic suggesting birds one day and dogs the next as the possible source Despite the lack of information the politically ambitious governor orders the National Guard to enforce a quarantine of all dogs At the heart of this conflict veterinarian Samantha Lewis is struggling to keep her no kill shelter open She finds support in a motley crew of friends that range from a local priest to a troubled nineteen year old emancipated foster child to a former psychologist whose life was destroyed by addiction But the one person that Sam needs is the last one she'd ever want to call on and contacting him will mean confronting every painful memory of her past


10 thoughts on “Just Life

  1. says:

    If you're looking for a heartwarming read full of goodies and baddies and saving animals and medical conspiraciesthis is for you It's a simple tale but told with a smile and a genuine love for dogs and humans who fight for them The author depicts the connection between human and animal as positive and life affirming anyone who cares for their pets the way I do my three cats can easily understand the emotions that underlie this story In addition there was some great dialogue which provided a relief from the darker side of the novelThanks to Neil Abramson FaithWordsCenter Street and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review


  2. says:

    I just loved narrating this book It has suspense mystery great characters and HUGE heart It's just wonderful I hope my narration does it justice


  3. says:

    There are two definitions to the word just and Abramson uses both in his title Early on he writes“Intention Your intention to imbue the space between you and another being with the spirit of God Your intention to care That is the stone and mortar the architectural drawings and the building permits rolled into one It is the only required ingredient That is the definition of a just life” Just Life starts with the stories of four attempting to live a just life A cop formerly a K9 cop a veterinarian running a no kill shelter a young man who suffered abuse as a foster child and an elderly Catholic priest There are also many peripheral characters mostly on the side of caring individuals The second definition defines just as only or merely As in it's just a dog Given that the plot involves a deadly virus that is suspected of being transferred from dogs to humans this definition also comes into play The government’s standard program of “quarantine cull and kill” may be acceptable for pigeons but what about dogs? The book raises lots of these kind of questions Such as do human lives matter than canine? Now I am a sucker for “dog books” and tend to grade on a curve if there are dogs and dog lovers in the book And I liked Unsaid Abramson’s prior book There were flashes of brilliance in this one as when Abramson talks about the connection between humans and dogs But I struggled with the story when it came to the humans The characters all seem to be good or evil a little too two dimensional And Abramson provides back stories on everyone so I sometimes felt bogged down when I wanted the plot to move forward An interesting read but not a fascinating one and high on the unbelievable scale My thanks to netgalley and Faith Words for an advance copy of this book


  4. says:

    From now on I will know what to expect from a Neil Abramson novel LIFE Teeming with LIFE his sopho novel tells the story of Sam Lewis veterinarian and operator of a no kill animal shelter who is facing a scenario that is the nightmare of every animal lover dogs are suspected of carrying a virus with devastating effects on children I loved UNSAID the debut novel of Mr Abramson for the powerful bond between humans and animals that it so beautifully described as well as its complex descriptions of what death means for humans and animals alike With JUST LIFE he proved that he can definitely up the ante I loved every character of this book From Sam who loves dogs with all her heart and is facing her traumatic past to her estranged father Dr Daniel Lewis to Andy the troubled young musician who loves dogs with all his heart Father Gabriel an elderly illness struck priest with a heart of goldread this book everyone here is in need of an answer to whether there's a question mark or an exclamation mark after the two words in the title I loved how each of these characters are flawed in one way or another but not less likable Even Dr Jacqueline Morgan the villain of the piece is a complex character that is not 100% evil or cartoonish but just considers herself entitled to her purpose The novel is very timely given the paranoid obsession that our world has in regard to pandemics There are some instances of animal cruelty but it is so heartwarming to follow the efforts of deeply flawed but essentially kind souls trying to help them that they should not be a problem for any reader I love this book even than I loved UNSAID Thanks so much Mr Abramson Great great job


  5. says:

    Could you imagine simply turning in your dog because of a viral outbreak? What if you had no choice? What if you were mandated to do so under the fear that you might never see your dog again if they believe that destruction is necessary to prevent the spread of the virus to keep from killing children? How far would you go? These are the choices that residents of Riverside a small neighborhood in New York have been asked to do as part of a quarantine to prevent the spread of what the CDC has determined might be a killer rabies virus First they thought the recent deaths of the children of Riverside was caused by the bird flu but tests are coming back confirming that it is rabies and with the presidential election coming the Governor wants to ensure that his rally goes off in Central Park without any issues Samantha Lewis owner of Finally Home a non kill pet shelter and veterinarian has her work cut out for her Not only does she have to find homes for the pets currently in her shelter due to a mandate from the city that they are closing her shelter but they have placed a quarantine on the cities dogs within Riverside She can't bear the thought of how the CDC will handle the situation if they deem the dogs are the carrier Despite all the tests and blood work she is doing on the dogs being brought into her from the residents she knows once people go into panic mode the dogs will be slated to be killed in order to contain the virus But based on all her knowledge is seems suspicious that rabies would find a way to cross over to humans without being bitten She will have to reach out to the one person who can help her and the one person she doesn't want to call Her father I received Just Life by Neil Abramson compliments of Center Street Publishers a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and personal opinions This is such a great novel despite the profanity and makes you consider just how we handle these viral outbreaks with the slaughter of animals that are called into question This really impacted me personally as a pet lover and wondered just what I would do if called to give up my dog knowing they might be killed in an effort to contain the viral outbreak Humans or animals? That is the choice up for debate in this political thriller For me this rated 4 out of 5 stars only due to the profanity and my own personal rating system I have established Without it 5 out of 5 stars


  6. says:

    This starts off feeling like a dystopian novel with a West Nile type zoonotic virus outbreak threatening the children of a neighborhood of New York City Before too long though the plotline turns both prosaic and mysterious Is this a rabies epidemic or something sinister? Evil animal research and dodgy local politics collide to put Samantha Lewis’s shelter dogs in peril Good and bad are pretty cut and dry here; how you treat animals is Abramson’s sure fire sign of moral rectitude Of Sam’s one note supporting characters Beth is the best The Father Gabriel and Andy subplots are both pretty melodramatic I would have left Andy out entirely That said I’ve enjoyed both of Abramson’s novels perfectly well They oversimplify the issues but are quick reads for animal lovers


  7. says:

    As a animal lover I really enjoyed this book The characters in this book are diverse and very interesting lots of twists and turns and just an all round wonderful read Have the tissues ready as it is an emotional roller coaster ride


  8. says:

    You know there were so many problems with this book everything was too black and white characters were too often revealed to have hearts of gold that don't occur in reality situations were far too extreme for the suspension of disbelief it was wildly sentimental and simple human goodness see above hearts of gold helped save the day And yet I couldn't put the damned thing downThis couldn't hold a candle to Abramson's first novel Unsaid which I still recommend and didn't have as many flaws as this one but I read it in about two days and everything else I was reading at the same time about five other books suffered for my attention by comparison So make your own assumptions Flawed as it was I can't bring myself to say I was sorry to have read it and it resulted in my cat receiving unwanted affection when I was finished


  9. says:

    If you love animals and enjoy heartwarming stories this fits that bill I've read one other book by this author and it too was about animals and veterinarians There are a few things I like about this author I like his humor He makes me laugh and he makes me smile Some of his characters are complete crack ups That too is something the author does wellthe characters They are unique and quirky One last thing I want to mention is that he often throws thought provoking ideas into his books I like that The plots are complex and have depth with twists that keeps it all rolling forward This particular book covers the love of dogs city vs state governments a viral illness that effects kids and dogs animals being used for testing and I didn't do page math onceso 4 stars


  10. says:

    Sam owner of a no kill shelter fights to save her dogs when a virus that may come from dogs begins killing children in New York This book is 'Nicholas Sparks writes about animal shelters' If you read that and go 'yay' then you're going to love this book I was disappointed with it It had a great start just how far would you go to protect your pets? what if saving them meant dead children? but quickly changed into a melodramatic mess with flat one dimensional characters 'Good' people liked animals and 'bad' people were mean to animals If only that designation were so easy in real life