Captivating and suspenseful, Neil Abramson’s moving debut novel is a hard one to put down. When Helena, an animal-loving veterinarian passes on, leaving behind her grief-stricken husband, David, and their family of dogs, cats, and other animals on their small hobby farm, she is possessed with frightening doubts and serious misgivings about how she conducted her life and veterinary practice, afraid that it was “meaningless, error ridden, and forgettable.” As a result, her spirit lingers and she becomes the silent observer to a gripping drama, one in which David, an attorney, is faced with a life-changing decision—whether or not to take on an animal rights case that is outside his usual area of legal practice. The case involves Cindy, a chimpanzee who his late wife taught sign language, enabling Cindy to communicate with humans. With Cindy scheduled for another research project, one that would surely take her life, David must call on his legal expertise and everything he learned from Helena in order to save her. In so doing, he uncovers facts about Helena previously unbeknownst to him and which he—and Helena—must come to terms with in the ensuing courtroom battle. With its profound and moving message of just how little we know and understand about our animal brethren until we learn how to truly listen, this novel brings to light the “beauty and redemptive power of human-animal relationship and the true meaning of communication in all if its diverse forms.” Read this book! I loved it.—CW

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