Saturday, April 9, 2016

Pound for Pound

by Shannon Kopp
William Morrow     2015
273 pages     Memoir
The Shortlist

Shannon Kopp is a recovering bulimic, who found purpose for her life befriending and nurturing dogs in animal shelters. Her story is told as a string of memories and incidents, and slowly we begin to understand the depth of her despair. Her father is an alcoholic, and Shannon spent many years being very angry at him. Additionally, body image problems made her teenage years miserable and she spent time in a live-in rehab center and many hours in support group meetings for eating disorders. 

Pound for Pound focuses primarily on the pain in Shannon's life that led her to punish her body with binging and purging, the months in recovery, and the faithfulness of her boyfriend (now husband). The other, and probably more impressive focus, is on the power of pets to heal broken people. Shannon found a job at the San Diego Animal Shelter, and it was here that she began to find herself and her calling. This led her to a writing class, which led her to writing this memoir.

While Pound for Pound is an inspiring story, the writing is a bit choppy. If you are able to look past that aspect of the book, Shannon Kopp shares a lovely message of hope and redemption, for both broken people and the pets who save them.

The review in Kirkus Reviews.

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