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10/26/2009

Boston.com reviews Rita Mae Brown

Here’s a short, but sweet, review of Rita Mae Brown’s latest memoir, Animal Magnestism on Boston.com, :

ANIMAL MAGNETISM: My Life with Creatures Great and Small
By Rita Mae Brown
Ballantine Books, 256 pp., $25

Sneaky Pie, the cat collaborator on Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs. Murphy mystery series, signed book contracts with “Fuzzy paw prints, dipped in stamp ink.’’ Brown confides that Sneaky “was a true business partner. Quite tight with her money, too.’’ This cutesy tone dominates Brown’s memoir of animal lore and love.

Growing up on a farm with hounds and horses, Brown was most comfortable and content with animals. Removed at the age of 10 to Florida with her family, she learned to appreciate sea turtles and parrots. Studying at New York University, she adopted cats. Now a best-selling author and successful screenwriter, she owns a horse farm in Virginia, where she breeds thoroughbreds and foxhounds.

The many important lessons she has learned from animals – from manatees, that beauty is only skin deep; from beagles, that love restores; from horses, the power of birth and rebirth; from many breeds, that animals do not know how to compromise – are all recounted here.

Somewhere along the way, she also learned to survive in Hollywood and to invest in real estate, difficult and daunting skills that suggest that behind the cutesy tone lies clever calculation.

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