a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gracie's Diary; a book review

Many of you might know Bobbi and Gracie through their blog Gracie Owns Me.  Gracie is an adorable dog who let's say has a way to be mischievous and get into a lot of trouble, but deep down she is deeply loved by Bobbi and like most pets brings much love and happiness and laughs to her family.

Bobbi recently wrote and had published a book (Gracie's Diary, a Memoir) about her and her second husband, Gary, meeting online, their relationship before marriage, their marriage and early years, their agreeing to get a dog, Gracie, the chaos Gracie caused at times, and the struggles Gary had in dealing with his ex-wife over issues to be able to see his then young daughter after their divorce despite his best efforts to continue to try to have a relationship with her, which included at times 12 hour drives to where she lived, only to be rejected by his ex-wife to not see his daughter.

After the book was published, Bobbi had a contest on her blog to give away the books.  I entered the contest but told her regardless if I won or lost the contest, I would still get a copy of the book, even if I bought it, and read it and review it on my blog. As luck would have it, I was one of six winners and received a copy of Gracie's Diary, a Memoir, to read.

What struck me about the book was Bobbi's and Gary's willingness to have their life written in pages of a book that would be read by total strangers as well as friends and acquaintances.  They had some very tough years of adjusting to married life together, fixing up their first home together in West Virginia, adapting to a puppy that basically refused to be potty trained, as well as dealing with their children from their respective previous marriages.  I ached as I read some of their struggles for there were painful ones and painful lessons learned. 

Gary truly did his best to try to maintain a relationship with his young daughter despite his ex-wife doing everything she could to prevent such a relationship, but in the end he realized the relationship would only happen after his daughter was an adult and if she was strong enough to be able to get past the brainwashing that had been done to her for years regarding her father and other family members.  He became instrumental in offering support to other parents going through similar situations. 

Through it all, Gracie provided to be that comic relief that they often needed despite her antics of destroying this or that.

In the end of the book, there is no resolution to the relationship between father and daughter, but there is acceptance life will go on.  Several wonderful things do happen in Bobbi's and Gary's life including birth of grandchildren. 

It is a book of a couple's life together. Of trying to blend together families, of trying to adapt to each other, of dealing with the struggles that life throws us. Of determination, of hope, of love, of commitment, of God working in their lives.

I truly did enjoy reading the book. I've been reading Bobbi's blog for over two years now. Her wit and humor in writing Gracie's take of things can be hilarious at times. I particularly liked the entry when she mentioned perhaps getting a king size bed so that there would be room for the two of them plus Gracie and Gary's take that Gracie would still manage to hog the majority of the bed. I could definitely relate to that.

I do have to admit the book was painful to read at times seeing the struggles they had early on in their marriage and life together, but in the end they have persevered and are still together, still in love with each other despite the obstacles. It is a story of love and a story of a dog that kind of ties them all together.

It is a good read and I would highly recommend the book and Bobbi's blog.


Shelly said...

Wow- that sounds like a really amazing book. I feel for parents like him who, despite their best efforts, are thwarted at having a relationship with their own children. And a pup like that is one who will always make me smile. Thanks for introducing us to this wonderful story~

Bijoux said...

One of my best friends has an ex who does everything in his power to make her life miserable, including making their joint custody of the kids a nightmare. It's so disturbing how many people use their own children in this manner. Thanks for letting us know about the book. I will recommend it to my friend.

Jen Forbes said...

My cousin is dating a man whose ex is such a horrible manipulator of their ten year old daughter it is really a sin. I see this man and my heart just aches for him, he's already gained custody of the son, I'm praying he'll soon get his daughter before the damage is irreparable. Sometimes I just wonder how any parent could do that to their own child, it really is terrible Betty. Maybe I should get him a copy of this book for Christmas? Do you think it would help in any way?

Jeanie said...

It sounds like a very good book about some difficult subjects. There is nothing like a dog to add some comic relief to even the most difficult situations.

Dana said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I love reading memoirs.

Robyn Burke said...

This sounds like a good book to read! I will have to look for it. Good job on the review too. I just bought a book to read while on our mission trip. It's by the author of The Shack, called Crossroads. Maybe I will do a review on it. We'll see! I am sure I will have plenty of other stuff to write about while we are in C.R. Take Care Betty! ~ robyn

jack69 said...

As I have said in the past, you do a great book report. I bet you got A's all the way thru on English composition.
The book sounds like an education in progress. Thanks for the insights, Betty. I assume the book is online.

I see now,labeled Kindle edition..
Thanks and hope all is well out there. Take care. Love from this coast...

Sharon said...

Betty, I am both going to check out that blog, and look into possibly getting this book. I really appreciate anyone who is willing to be honest and vulnerable about their life's struggles.

And...if you throw in a precious dog? Well, that pretty much sells me on it!


Stew said...

I can truly appreciate the concept of life, through the eyes of a dog. A dog can be that third neutral party in a debate or an open ear to tell your troubles to. Always caring, always there.
Great concept.

The Brown Recluse said...

It does sound like a pretty good book. I think I prefer reality to fiction. I don't understand parents who do things like that mother. I know she'll answer for it one day.

Linda B. said...

Adorable cover photo! Dog, humor, God, struggles and sweetness,sounds like a good read.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I hadn't heard about Gracie. Sounds like a great read! Way to go on winning a copy.

Bobbi and Gracie said...

Thank you Betty :-)