book review: cleo by helen brown

I came across Cleo completely by accident. When Borders went into voluntary administration and my beloved two-storey store at Kotara was closing down, I made a few visits to stock up.

For me, the cover of a book is vital in making me pick it up, especially when I haven’t heard of it before.

So when I saw the most adorable black kitten staring up at me from the cover of Cleo – I had to buy it.

If the cover was anything to go by, Cleo is about a black cat (shock and awe, right?)

Since the international success of Marley and Me by Josh Groban was published in 2005, there has been a myriad of books released about people and their pets. I’ve avoided them all, until I picked up Cleo.

Who can resist a cute little kitten?

A self-professed cat lover, I wasn’t surprised when I fell in love with the book and with Cleo.

Like Marley and Me, Cleo is a memoir about author Helen Brown and her family, with the addition of a gorgeous black cat, Cleo.

The family, like many others, has suffered severe tragedy, moving countries and continents and Cleo demonstrates how something as little as a cat can change your life forever.

Cleo is brutally and beautifully honest. We follow Helen’s journey as she goes through about the hardest thing a mother can, losing a child. Her honesty shows that it’s OK to become completely caught up in your grief, as long as you don’t forget to live.

You’ll find yourself laughing and crying, and with a renewed faith in felines.



  1. Alice · November 26, 2011

    i like this review monique…nice writing! 🙂

  2. nadinefawell · November 28, 2011

    I loved this book too! And then my cat ran away. Bah >(
    That said, she did run away when I was ending a very transformative period – maybe her cat guidance was needed more elsewhere?

    • moniquefischle · November 28, 2011

      Oh no, how devastating! Cats are very intuitive to needs, it’s one of the many reasons I love them so much!

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