Linda's Reviews > A Three Dog Life

A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas
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May 26, 2012

it was amazing

In this beautifully and honestly written memoir, Abigail Thomas tries to make sense of an entirely new perspective on the passage of time. In the aftermath of her husband’s nearly fatal collision with an automobile, Thomas discovers that her life consists of the past and the future. Her husband, Rich Rogin, survives for five years in a nearly foreign world constructed by his traumatic brain injury. His life is solidly in the present and his wavering moods and cryptic allusions to the world they once shared are both dismaying and sometimes richly poignant. Passing the fish tank in the lobby of his care facility, he remarks to his wife, “I wonder if they know where they are, or if they remember other aquariums.”

As Thomas struggles with loneliness, fear of being and living alone, and feelings of guilt for not doing enough for her husband, Rogin’s brain seems to mine some new realm in which clairvoyance prompts random and bewildering, yet astonishingly eloquent comments that inexplicably allude to some very real aspect of Thomas’ life or worries.

The epigraph fits: “Australian Aborigines slept with their dogs for warmth on cold nights, the coldest being a ‘three dog night.’”

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