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Cashmere Comes from Goats    by S Portico Bowman order for
Cashmere Comes from Goats
by S Portico Bowman
Order:  USA  Can
Stonehouse, 2022 (2022)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Rheta Van Winkle

Robin has not been able to get over the death of her dog, Bloom, who died three months ago. When her best friend Joanna tells her that she's depressed, she denies it, but Joanna insists that what Robin needs is a break. Robin has her own dental practice and the thought of leaving all of her patients for six months feels like a betrayal.

After she reluctantly agrees, turns her practice over to a young dentist who recently finished her education, and rents a house in Newfoundland that she found on Craigslist, her elderly father Otto has a mini-stroke. He also has memory problems and may be in the early stages of Alzheimer's, so she doesn't think that she can leave him. She cancels the rental. The young dentist threatens to sue her rather than let her out of the legal agreement to take over the practice temporarily. She finds herself with too much time on her hands, since her father needs help but not constant monitoring.

Robin wanted to take piano lessons when she was a little girl, but couldn't. She started taking lessons from Bruno, a talented pianist, but suddenly quit when she fell in love with him. Now she accidentally encounters Bruno, who wants to know why she quit and didn't answer his calls or call him back. She decides that she might as well take lessons again to fill up some of the time during the six months of her break.

When she gets to Bruno's, he welcomes her, but says he has to leave for a short time. As she sits in his house, waiting for him to come back to begin the lessons, she finds the name of a woman (Marguerite Bertrand) on a piece of paper that falls out of one of the National Geographics stacked haphazardly around the studio. His reaction is so incomprehensible that when she gets home she finds the woman on the Internet and discovers that Marguerite has a son who looks just like Bruno. She tells him that he has a son in France. He can't believe her until he sees the picture, and he becomes determined to meet this son. He insists that Robin come with him, and so their adventure begins.

This is a sometimes funny, sometimes sad story about people and their desires in life. Robin is the heroine, but we become close to the others, too, including Bruno, his son, Marguerite, Otto, and several other characters. The title, Cashmere Comes From Goats, is a clever way of sharing the author's idea that good and beautiful things can come from difficult or unpleasant situations. I really enjoyed this book.

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