The house hunt of author Benjamin Mee and his wife, Katherine, ended with an unusual, even bizarre solution: The pair decided to move into a ramshackle zoo in the English countryside. Mee had a degree in psychology and specializes in animal behavior, but not even he could have imagined the complexities of holding sway over more than 200 exotic animals. Almost immediately, the project of reopening the zoo as a family business ran into financial -- and four-footed -- obstacles. Then a major tragedy broke: Katherine's brain tumor recurred and she died at the age of 40. Through it all, the family persevered, and in July 2007, the zoo reopened under Mee management. A bittersweet story about creatures sharing one another's company.
Summary taken from Goodreads.com
So I admit it. The only reason I knew this book even existed is because of the movie featuring Matt Damon that is coming out this Christmas. But I am glad that the movie sparked an interest in me to read this book.
Maybe you don't know this about me I love animals and would love nothing more than to work in a Zoo like Dartmoor. Honestly I grew up watching countless hours of animal/nature specials, and my favourite magazine is still National Geographic and has been since birth. I think it has something to do with the fact that my Daddy has had a subscription to it for the last 40 years.
Anyways on to my review!
I adore this book. The way the author wrote it was in my opinion unique. Given the unfortunate and untimely passing of his beloved wife Katherine which left him a widower with two young children and trying to reestablish a zoo he did no come over as "preachy" or too "Let this be a message to you" as if he were really trying to sell the book based on the horrible circumstances.
He wrote it honestly, full of wit, humour, and passion. This passion is evident through the whole book whether he is talking about the process of buying the zoo, Katherine, his children and family, the staff and the animals it was all the same. He honestly loves what he does and is not afraid to let it shine through in his writing what so ever.
He had a rare opportunity to do something that so many people spend their lives dreaming about it is hard not to want the best for him especially when you can tell he is just a regular guy trying to do something extraordinary.
I cannot wait to see the movie though I can already tell its very different from the book and when me and my better half finally make it across the pond Dartmoor Zoo is one locale we will definately with out a shadow of a doubt be checking out. I know it's a long shot but just in case the author ever reads this I'd like to say Thank you for writing this book and I wish you all the success and happiness for you and yours in the world.
I strongly recommend this book to the animal lovers out there and people that like a good memoir.