Monday, June 18, 2018

Book Review: Bono: The Amazing Story of a Rescue Cat Who Inspired a Community by Helen Brown

From New York Times bestselling author Helen Brown comes a funny and moving account of her life-changing month as a foster mother—to a homeless cat named Bono.

When Helen Brown arrived in New York for a much-anticipated visit, a fellow animal lover talked her into fostering a shelter cat. Helen visualized a sweet-natured cuddler who blinked and dozed a lot. What she got at Manhattan’s Bideawee shelter was a wide-eyed and unpredictable Persian with a punked-out haircut and a feisty attitude.

Bono had become homeless during Hurricane Sandy, had survived a serious infection, and needed daily medications. As a “special needs” cat, he was an unlikely candidate for adoption. But as affection between them grew, Helen resolved to see that Bono found his forever home. She didn’t know that he would change her life in ways she never dreamed possible and teach her lessons she would cherish ever after. Just as this sweet, beleaguered, and hopeful guy deserved a fresh start, Helen too was ready for new beginnings. And so began a heartwarming, uplifting, lasting kind of love . . .

This is not only a book about a very special cat, but also one about a woman in search of what to do with the second chance at life she's been given following a battle with breast cancer. Helen Brown is facing a "two-thirds-life crisis" and bored with her daily life in Australia, jumps at the chance to spend time promoting her new book Cats and Daughters with her daughter in New York City. While she's planning on a carefree jaunt in the Big Apple, her publishing company suggests that she foster a shelter cat during her time there and writing a blog for the Huffington Post about the experience. A portion of what Helen is trying to escape is life with a difficult cat back home, but her daughter jumps at the idea and before long they're left in charge of a Persian with chronic kidney disease who seems unadoptable in so many ways.

It takes Helen and Bono a good deal of time to build a relationship, with both of them none too impressed by the other. But as Helen watches Bono live his life without fear of what's to come, just enjoying each day he's given, she begins to see how much they have in common and that she can learn a lot from this spunky little cat with a very uncertain future...
Next morning we woke to see a small black shape dancing across the floor, at war with one of Lydia's socks. Shaking it by the toe and tossing it in the air, Bono was so deeply engaged in battle, he didn't notice out interest. The previous day's trauma had melted away for him, and now he was delighting in the simple act of fighting a sock. Bono was unwanted and terminally ill, yet he was relishing the fact he was alive right now with a sock for a playmate. I wished I could be such a master at embracing the moment. It would take decades of therapy and spiritual practice for me to reach that level. If only I could be more like Bono and stop fretting over things beyond my control. 
The lion cat greeted the morning sun with curiosity each day. Every moment was brimming with adventure for him. Whether it was a cockroach or a fluffy toy cat, he was not disappointed. To Bono every day was a good one, simply because he was in it. ... He knew life is precious because we are all fragile, and out presence on Earth fleeting. He was too engaged with living to worry about dying. 
Before long Helen realizes she can't go back home again until she finds a forever home for this cat that comes to mean so much to her. It's an unforgettable journey for them both and a story that touches the heart of everyone they come into contact with. People think of New York City as a place people go to disappear, but this book shows how one tiny cat brought a community together while changing many lives in the process.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. As members of the Amazon Associates affiliate program, if you click on our links and buy something Mudpie gets a little money for her piggy bank!


  1. Sparkle blogged about Bono a couple of times - we are really looking forward to reading this book!

  2. I aleady have this book on my "to read" list. It sounds excellent!

  3. What a great story! This book is definitely on my list.

  4. This book sounds so heartwarming. I've always had a bit of a thing for feisty cats and those with special needs. Bono sounds like a purrfect friend. Thank you for sharing yet another wonderful read with us!

  5. Thanks, Melissa (and Mudpie). This sounds like an amazing story.

  6. Yep, just checked Goodreads, and this book is on my 'want to read' list! Thanks for the review!

  7. I want to read this one , great review.

  8. Sounds like a great read! I want to read more about Bono! Sounds like he has a tortie spirit!