As a veterinarian, Helena had mercifully escorted thousands of animals to the other side. Now, having died herself, she finds that it is not so easy to move on. She is terrified that her 37 years of life were meaningless, error-ridden and forgettable. So Helena haunts - and is haunted by - the life she left behind.
Meanwhile, David, her shattered attorney husband, struggles with grief and the demands of caring for her houseful of damaged and beloved animals. But it is her absence from her last project, Cindy - a chimpanzee who may unlock the mystery of communication and consciousness - that will have the greatest impact on all of them.
When Cindy is scheduled for a research experiment that will undoubtedly take her life, David must call upon everything he has learned from Helena to save her. In the explosive courtroom drama that follows, all the threads of Helena's life entwine and tear as Helena and David confront their mistakes, grief and loss and discover the only way to save Cindy is to understand what it really means to be human.
Touching and emotional. - Publishers Weekly
Enjoyed it thoroughly. - Jeffrey Masson, author of When Elephants Weep
...a remarkable book. - Susan Wilson, author of One Good Dog and The Fortune Teller's Daughter
A poignant read on the meaning of life and its priorities - how death and despair can lead to renewal and life, but only if one realizes the interconnectedness of all creatures. - Irene M. Pepperberg, author of Alex and Me
This moving and riveting novel beautifully expresses the transforming power of the human-animal relationship. Read it if you shared your life with an animal, but more importantly, read it if you haven't. - Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary and author of the bestseller Farm Sanctuary