By Barby Keel
Citadel Press Book – Kensington Publishing Corp, 2018
Via: Publisher Request
Book 2 in the Foster Tails Stories.
Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The true story of a woman and a dog, both battling past demons and immense suffering, find comfort and solace in each other as they journey together toward healing, hope, and love.
Kimber the Magnificent here to tell you about a very special author. Barby Keel is my kinda lady. She founded and runs the Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary in Sussex, U.K. (No idea where that is. But it sounds nice.)
Now. Why is Barby my kinda lady? Well. When it comes to loving, defending, protecting, and caring for abused, abandoned or unwanted animals, Barby Keel is a Force of Nature. You sooo Do Not want to mess with this woman. Especially if you dump a horrifically mistreated greyhound at the sanctuary’s gate on a cold, wet night.
That’s where Bailey’s story begins. Merges with Barby’s. And something extraordinary, even miraculous, happens in the process.
I’ll let Mom tell you the rest. Cuz I gotta grab a nap and a tissue. (Fair warning, okay?)
A True Story
Will You Love Me? is the true story of a terribly abused and mistreated greyhound who’s left for dead at the gate of Barby Keel’s animal sanctuary and how both dog and author stagger into healing and hope together.
Dubbed “Bailey” by the author, the greyhound isn’t expected to last the night. Somehow, he rallies. Lives till dawn. Bolstered by expert care and truckloads of TLC, Bailey slowly makes a recovery, both physical and psychological. In fact, he becomes a “kindred spirit” as the author faces her own challenges, both physical and emotional.
This powerful and poignant story chronicles the “bond of suffering” shared by dog and author as they battle past demons. Keel wrestles with memories of a remote, implacable mum and Bailey battles the effects of horrific abuse, neglect and torment, both physical and emotional. (Kimber: A tsunami of rage swept over Mom at this point. There’s not much that makes Mom that kind of Red Hot LIVID. But any blankety-blankety-blank @#$%^&*! who mistreats a dog will do it. We’re talking molten lava here. Take cover!)
A beautiful story of inspiration and hope, Will You Love Me? features pitch-perfect pacing and expert timing. Rich and robust writing lend a luminescent quality to this story that’ll resonate with readers long after the final page is turned.
The author also weaves in the backstories of her staff and volunteers, friends, family, the glorious Sussex countryside, her sanctuary, and the never-ending challenges and triumphs of offering unconditional love and kindness to any creature who comes to their gate. (Kimber: Mom’s doing that sparkly-eyed sniffly thing right now. This book does that.)
Smooth and Swift
Lithe and lively, the narrative flows smoothly and swiftly. The author’s personal battle with cancer is artfully intertwined with Bailey’s fight for survival as the story details the “timeless bond between animal and human” and “how each is changed and healed by the other’s loving presence and guidance.”
Told with immense honesty, empathy, and a Mount Everest of emotion, this true story packs a wallop as it shows how caring for a sick or injured animal can result in human healing, too.
Note: Mom read this book after slogging through several titles that were about as inspiring as an overcooked cabbage. She was ready to call it Quitsville. Will You Love Me? restored her hope in authors and humans. (Well, some of them.)
A Message for the Ages
Touching and tender, insightful and astute, Will You Love Me? is a wonderful read. In fact, we can’t even put into words how much we loved this book. How much we needed it. And you will too. Cuz Will You Love Me? offers a message for the ages:
Love will find a way, and it’s never too late to start over.
A Word From Kimber:
The Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary is:
a non-profit making charity rehoming or providing permanent refuge for abused, abandoned and unwanted animals. We operate a no destruction policy.
The sanctuary has been hit hard by the pandemic. Major fund-raisers that cover veterinary, food, maintenance, and other crucial expenses have had to be cancelled. Please, please help the sanctuary continue its vital work with abused, abandoned and unwanted animals with your generous donation. These animals often have no one else to turn to.