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Just Life    by Neil Abramson order for
Just Life
by Neil Abramson
Order:  USA  Can
Center Street, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I must warn you – if you are about to open Just Life by Neil Abramson, be prepared to find it very hard to put down until finished. Also keep tissues in reachable distance. You will need them.

Veterinarian Samantha Lewis and her cohorts run a sanctuary for unwanted, abused, and abandoned dogs, believing that these poor creatures deserve a chance at life with a good home and a loving family. Sam discovers that her facility is about to be shut down. Also that a deadly virus spreading through New York City is thought to be carried by canines. Already several children have died and others are very ill.

Determined to save her dogs from euthanasia, Sam begins to fight the city to save them. Andy, a young man who approves of Sam's work, tries to help, but has big issues of his own. Sam's father, from whom she has been estranged for a number of years, is a well-known scientist, and thinks he knows what the virus is and how it can be eliminated.

As her dogs are put under quarantine, Sam has to fight for their very lives. The order has been placed to put them all down. The dénouement of this gripping story has the mayor and governor at odds. The scene of the standoff is suspenseful. I had such a feeling of disbelief that this could be happening and had to remind myself that Just Life is only a story.

But, what a story! Beautifully written with a beguiling tale to tell. Author Abramson gently reminds us that we humans have a real connection to animals. And as these animals caretakers, we need to look at them with love in our eyes and hearts. We will find that we receive more from these members of our families than we can ever give them. Read and enjoy. I did.

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