Thursday, January 29, 2009

We Bought A Zoo

The amazing true story of a young family, a broken down zoo, and the 200 wild animals that change their lives forever, by Benjamin Mee.

Quickie Recap: His father dies and his wife is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, and for Benjamin Mee, the obvious response is to sell his dream home and relocate the family to a failing zoo with absolutely no experience and no real idea of what he's getting himself into.

Quickie Review: Well. This book quietly exceeded my expectations. Going in, it was easy to anticipate some syrupy sentiment, an overwhelming feeling of inspiration, an uplifting theme, etc, etc, and so when Mee describes his young wife's death in the fancy chair he'd bought her just the week before in the middle of the zoo she never lived to see opened to the public, the tragedy hits you even more because of how low-key he is. Low-key is probably the wrong word. In fact, I know it is. It was obviously a devastating blow, but he's not asking for sympathy. He's simply saying: this is what I did, what my family did. And although you should never trust a book cover, it really is an amazing story, but not necessarily because he bought a zoo. Really it's how he lives his life, believing and persevering, and being sometimes quite selfless without acknowledging it. Mee tells a good story, and has a good story to tell. I'm so glad he shared it with me , and I hope you'll let him share it with you too.

Quickie recommendation: Have kleenex on stand-by.

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