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Cleo (Cleo #1)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  2,537 ratings  ·  382 reviews
For all those people who say they aren't cat people, but deep down know they are. Helen Brown wasn't a cat person, but her nine-year old son Sam was. So when Sam heard someone mention that her cat had just had a litter, he pleaded to go and see them Seeing Sam holding one of the tiny kittens in his hands, Helen was powerless to resist and the deal was done - to be delivere ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 28th 2010 by Hodder (first published January 1st 2009)
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I was first captivated by the book Cleo when I unpacked it among the many others received that day at the bookstore. I couldn't help but be instantly charmed by those brilliant green eyes as I removed the packing paper, however, I wasn't ready to read the book. My mother had been extremely ill for months and really, I wasn't ready to read any book.
A week before my mother lost her battle with lung cancer, I bought Cleo and in the days that followed my mother's death, I sought solace in the only
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
The Book Report: A family devastated by loss takes in a little black mutt-kitten and learns, painfully and slowly and with much trouble, to live the lives they've been allowed to keep despite the life that was lost. Marriages begin and end, relationships resemble the ones they began as not at all, and through it all, for a remarkable twenty-four years, a proud black cat runs the entire world from a succession of Kiwi then Aussie kitchens, living rooms, and Asian-run delis. One day she dies, and ...more
Helen Brown took her animal loving son Sam to see a litter of kittens as he badly wanted one for his upcoming tenth birthday. The only kitten left is the runt, a tiny little scrap of black fur. Naming her Cleo it is arranged that the kitten would be dropped off to Sam in a few months time when she was old enough to leave her mother.

Sam’s love and total fascination in animals leads to a horrific accident. Shortly after his birthday while rushing an injured bird to a vet’s, he runs out in front of
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J. Else
"Cleo's motto seemed to be: Life's tough and that's okay, because life is also fantastic. Love it, live it - but don't be fooled into thinking its not harsh sometimes." - Brown

Brown has a wonderful writing style. Her transitions in the book through time and emotions were brilliant. The pace of the book was just perfect to relay the situations and emotions the family was going through. I was especially inspired by Cleo's connection with Rob. Terrible things happen to this family, but the stories
Such a lovely little read which turned out to be a lot more than the back cover suggests. Over the years I have read various columns penned by Helen Brown and enjoyed her frank and honest style.

The idea of a whimsical read about her cat seemed just the ticket uh wrong...Yes it is a memoir and yes it is woven around the long and eventful life of a captivating cat named Cleo. What this book really is, is the appropriate way for a master word smith to sort out and make sense of a huge loss. Helen'
Rebecca Huston
Yet another book that I tried really hard to like. When the author is talking about Cleo, the book gets interesting, even if she does anthropormorphise her pet. Otherwise, there's plenty of self-pity, whining, and a backhanded slap to the good people of Christchurch, New Zealand. While I can understand the author is understandably grief-stricken and mourning at the loss of her eldest son, she also fails to see the agony the rest of her family is going through. This one just gets three stars from ...more
Marina Zala
*Books 93 - 2014 *

saya akan berikan 3,8 dari 5 bintang untuk buku ini! kisah kucing yang bernama Cleo yang berusaha menyembuhkan luka hati dari seorang keluarga yg kehilangan anggota keluarganya, Sam!

kisah2 dan tingkah laku cleo yg sangat menggemaskan bikin saya penasaran.. sayangnya dia meninggal di usia 24 tahun.. itu kayak usia 110 tahunan lo di manusia..

ahh! jujur saya seorang pecinta kucing. dirumah ada 4 ekor kucing dewasa dan 5 ekor anak kucing! tiap ekor bisa saya timang2 atau ciumin sat
Amo i gatti alla follia ma Cleo non mi ha stregato. O meglio, l'autoritaria gattina nera ha sicuramente fatto breccia nel mio cuore, ma la storia della sua famiglia non molto: scioccata dalla tragedia iniziale, mi aspettavo più pathos e coinvolgimento, ed invece il libro mi ha più volte annoiata e ho dovuto forzarmi nel proseguire la lettura. Un peccato, i presupposti per una storia memorabile c'erano tutti, ma l'esecuzione non mi ha colpito, così come la maggior parte delle vicende della famigl ...more
CLEO by Helen Brown

What a little piece of magic this book is. Have your hankie ready, Cleo and Helen would melt the hardest heart. For 24 years, this little black cat was the one constant in the lives of Helen and her family. From the most terrible tragedy that can strike a family, and the various ups and downs that occured in the years afterwards, Cleo kept them all looking forward and up. That is all the plot info that I am going to give because you need to read this for yourself!

However Helen
Eat, Meow, Deposit Half-Eaten Bird in Your Shoe

Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family is a heart-warming memoir about a woman whose family is torn apart by the tragic death of her 9-year-old son, who only wanted a kitten for his birthday. He was told he had to wait until spring, and unfortunately, he never lived to see the kitten become a part of his family.

As any cat-lover will tell you, the runt of any litter is usually the last to be adopted. Usually smaller than its siblings, it's had to fight it
Leah K
Cleo: The Cat Who Mended a Family by Helen Brown
292 pages

★★★★★ + ♥

On January 21, 1983 a tragedy would occur to Helen Brown and her family – her 9 year old son would be killed when he was run over by a car. A couple weeks later Cleo, a rambunctious little kitten would enter their world and change it for the better. She would be there to comfort them through the death of Sam. She would also be there to witness divorces, more kids, marriage, and much more.

This book was suggested to me by my thera
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shonna Froebel
Written by New Zealand journalist Helen Brown, this personal memoir talks about how Cleo the cat helped her and her children, particularly her son, adjust to tragedy and change. Helen and her family already had a dog and she wasn't interested in adding a cat to the household, but her oldest son Sam was intent on wanting the cat, and willing to give up birthday gifts in exchange. Helen agreed to adopt the cat as soon as it was ready to leave its mother and Sam picked a name for the kitten. When t ...more
I really enjoyed Helen Brown's novel, Cleo. As soon as I began reading, it seemed to pull me right into the story and made me feel as if I was in the middle of the action. The author describes the characters and their feelings in great detail which can help the reader to relate and can help them to feel their pain, their happiness, their joy and their struggles.

Helen wrote in such a way that the story evoked feelings of sorrow, sympathy and saddness in the reader, yet still managed to maintain a
Even though this book took me awhile to read (much longer, it seemed than usual for me) I think that was partly because at no time did I resort to skimming it. I tended to give this one a thorough reading, and that is in itself an indication of my more-than-usual absorption in the story.

Let me state here, parenthetically, that I do think the book is mis-titled. This isn't really the story of a cat "who mended a family", since that particular family unit was not mended. Undoubtedly Cleo mended th
I can't resist stories about cats, so I looked forward to reading this, especially since I'd heard part of a radio interview with the author.

Cleo certainly was an amazing little cat, and I found her story a delight. But household cats tend to live narrow lives by human standards, and Cleo's life story would not fill a book. This is also the story of the family she came to live with, and for me the story of the humans held less appeal. Not because of any shortcomings in the writing; Brown writes
Cleo is the story of a New Zealand family who agrees to get a kitten for their older son's 9th birthday, but before they actually get the kitten the son is killed in a freak car accident. And when Cleo the kitten arrives a few months later the family decides to keep the kitten anyway - and it turns out to be the best decision they could have made. Cleo helps heal the terrible tragedy of Sam's death in different ways for each of the family members. Although the cover quotes Good Housekeeping maga ...more
Helen Brown conta a história da sua própria família e como, com a ajuda de uma gatinha, consegue superar o drama da perda de um filho.
Eu, por norma, não leio biografias ou romances cujo enredo seja baseado na história pessoal do autor. Como neste caso a figura central era uma gata, abri uma excepção.
Das primeiras 100 páginas – onde acontece o drama e a gatinha Cleo chega à familia – gostei bastante. É divertido e simultaneamente triste mas sem recorrer à lágrima fácil.
A partir de certa altura a
I started off really liking this book, but about halfway through, the focus changed. It became less about how Cleo helped the family and more about Brown's divorce and second marriage. Cleo was thrown in the scene a few times, but it felt disjointed and forced. I was so disillusioned with it that I actually stopped reading about 75 pages from the end. After a few months I picked it up again and finished reading it. The ending was better than I expected but that middle part where Cleo made short, ...more
Helen Brown is an author who really puts you in her shoes and lets you experience some of her life and what she goes through. This book is a great story for cat owners and lovers because it will teach them how to handle a cat and how to deal with life and adjusting to a new member in the family. She uses so many word that help you understand what she was going through and what you would expect or imagine would happen to you. I love this book and I hope there will be a sequel to it. Probably the ...more
AS a life-long cat-lover, I had a hard time getting going here. The author is a journalist/features writer in New Zealand, and she tells how it was that she, definitely NOT a cat person, acquired a small kitten, and how that kitten brought her family through the trauma of losing a child, and then a marriage, and growing-up, and finding love, and illness.

Cleo, the cat, living a surprisingly long time, so Brown is able to hit many of the great emotional events in life through her lens. Established
I have 9 cats that have all come here for one reason or another. They are all part of my family. Each one is different & special in their own individual ways. They are what keeps me going everyday. My husband died last year & they all help me to get up everyday. The story about Cleo brought back so many memories. I truly loved this book. Thanks for writing it! My daughter bought this book for me:) I'm so glad she did & now she can read it too
Jul 14, 2014 Janet rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Janet by: Mom
I debated between four versus five stars. I went with the five for two reasons. 1) I was dreading getting to the end and not being able to read more. That's a solid "good reads" endorsement, I'd say. 2) The Ms. Brown's story truly made me stop and think about my life, what I consider important, how precious the gift of time is, etc. Plus, the book did make me laugh out loud a few times --that was when I wasn't snickering over the antics of Cleo the cat. Plus, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I ...more
Just lovely x
Well, i don't think this book is at all about how a cat mended a family. There is a cat and a family, but it is more about the mom who lost her son and what she feels like writing about. At various points, something very significant happens, and there is very little said about it. There is little tying this whole book together, and I don't see much of a theme anywhere. Disappointed.
I did love the story of Cleo & her many talents. I was not a huge fan of Brown's writing style: quite twee & cheesy (Can it be both?). Still, all up a nice family story, even if most of the family members seemed like those irritating, over-confident, over-achieving people that I never get along with. Points earned for being a well-edited book about a black cat - my favourite.
Nesa Sivagnanam
Definitely a book to be read with a box of tissue papers. Plus it's about a cat so what else would you need. It's a charming tale of a small black kitten who made all the difference in the world to one family. She lived with them for a quarter of a century. growing with them and helping them grow and laugh with life ... just as she did.
As a cat person, I related well to this book.There was pain, sorrow, joy and lots of laughs and I would love to have been able to meet Cleo, but I think I saw some of her traits in my previous cats. Highly recommended!!!
Kris Sellgren
Like the best cat memoirs, this is much more than a story about a kitten. Helen Brown's writing ranges from heartwrenching to heartwarming, with huge doses of hilarious thrown in. Read this.
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Helen Brown was born and brought up in New Zealand, where she first worked as a journalist, TV presenter, and scriptwriter. Now living in Melbourne, Australia, with her family, Helen continues to write columns for the New Zealand media, and she’s been voted Columnist of the Year several times. Cleo rose to the top of the bestseller list in its first weeks in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Au
More about Helen Brown...

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“Guilt isn't in cat vocabulary. They never suffer remorse for eating too much, sleeping too long or hogging the warmest cushion in the house. They welcome every pleasurable moment as it unravels and savour it to the full until a butterfly or falling leaf diverts their attention. They don't waste energy counting the number of calories they've consumed or the hours they've frittered away sunbathing.

Cats don't beat themselves up about not working hard enough. They don't get up and go, they sit down and stay. For them, lethargy is an art form. From their vantage points on top of fences and window ledges, they see the treadmills of human obligations for what they are - a meaningless waste of nap time.”
“Great joy doesn't obliterate grief. Both can be encompassed at the same time.” 6 likes
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