Monday, September 2, 2013

{Review} Welcome Home, Mama and Boris by Carey Neesley

ISBN #: 978-1621451150
Page Count: 224
Copyright: August 29, 2013
Publisher: Readers Digest

Book Summary:
(Taken from back cover)

A fallen soldier, a grieving sister, two strays, and one question: How to extract the dogs from a war zone and bring them safely to a new home in the United States?

Part memoir, part suspense story, Welcome Home, Mama and Boris draws readers into the turmoil of a sister struggling to accept her brother's death and finding solace in rescuing the animals he had befriended on the streets of Baghdad. Saints and saviors emerge one by one, and as the operation gains momentum, Carey feels Peter's guiding hand behind it all and comes to believe that angels truly live here on earth.

Mandy's Review:

I'm a sucker for dogs. They are my favorite animal of all-time ... so how I wound up with cats as pets, I'll never understand. Combine dogs with an American hero and you have a book that I couldn't resist.

Peter and Carey were close growing up, so close they felt like twins. When Carey became a single mom, it was Peter who stepped in and became a father to Patrick. When Peter decided to enlist in the Army, Carey was understandably upset but she made up her mind to be as supportive to Peter as he had been to her and Patrick. During his tours, Carey would send care packages and letters to Peter but what really helped Carey keep her sanity were the weekly phone calls on Sunday. It's during those phone calls that Peter tells her about the dogs that he's befriended. Over time, the dogs become Peter's pets and he discusses with Carey how to get them from Baghdad to America when his tour is over.

Then, on Christmas Day, Carey receives the worst news possible: Peter has died, not in battle but, ironically, in his sleep. It's during the planning and preparation of Peter's funeral that Carey remembers the dogs, Mama and Boris. Through some intricate planning and the help of strangers, Mama and Boris finally make it home to Michigan. Their success inspires Carey to help other soldiers and their families with the same dilemma.

Welcome Home, Mama and Boris is a heartwarming, touching story, but it did make me wonder ... There are so many other soldiers' families who are going through the same thing, if not more, and yet their story hasn't been told. Was Carey and Peter's story told because they had national media coverage while trying to get Mama and Boris to America? Nothing against Carey, Peter, Mama, and Boris, but I want to know the other soldiers' stories. I want to know about the soldiers and their families that the majority of America doesn't already know about. I did appreciate the websites listed for the organizations that helped Carey bring the dogs back. Perhaps this is the beginning of our being able to hear about all of the other military family stories. I hope so.

*A physical copy of this book was provided by the publicist in exchange for an honest review.

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