Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul

Non-Fiction - Memoir
304 Pages
Reviewed on 10/22/2020
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Author Biography

Lorilyn Roberts is the author of twelve books, including the award-winning Young Adult Seventh Dimension Series and memoir Children of Dreams. After scuba diving around the world and earning her college degree studying abroad, she settled into single motherhood, adopting two daughters from Nepal and Vietnam. She later earned a Master’s in Creative Writing and is currently president of the Gainesville, Florida, Chapter of Word Weavers International. Lorilyn has rescued many orphaned dogs and cats, and when she isn’t writing books, she provides broadcast captioning for television.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

As Lorilyn sat at traffic lights in a small town in Florida, she experienced the strangest feeling that made her deeply question her life. This began a journey of self-reflection and a desire to turn away from chasing materialistic objects and instead to follow God's guidance. Follow Lorilyn's journey from childhood to adulthood and the many pivotal events and beloved furry friends that impacted her life in Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul. As Lorilyn suffered the trauma of divorce, grief, serious illness, and many of life's challenges, she has been blessed with the companionship and love of her furry helpers. Throughout her life, the joy and blessing of animals have taught her that God is always good and virtuous even if there are times when we doubt his existence or question his motives. Lorilyn's memoir is filled with stories of amazing kindness, bravery, joy, and extraordinary, unexplained incidents. Throughout the Bible, there are stories that reveal how animals have been sent to protect and help us. Tails and Purrs is a perfect example of this.

Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul, Lorilyn's memoir, is absolutely captivating, very honest, and comforting. Her accounts of the many animals that have touched her life and brought her so much love and happiness will resound with any animal lover. Gypsy's story sent goosebumps down my spine; her time spent with this wonderful dog and their shared appreciation of nature will bring tears of joy. The concept that animals come into your life when you need them most is so very true. I found Lorilyn and her family a great inspiration as they selflessly rescued, fostered, and adopted so many animals. I loved her daughter's abundant kindness and generosity towards those in need; she had a truly beautiful soul. The vision Lorilyn experienced on the beach was very powerful as she questioned if we can influence our destiny. You will experience a wide range of emotions while reading this memoir, from complete joy and warmth as animals were rescued and nursed back to health to heartbreak as they faced the end of their lives or illness. Peasy's story reminds us to be patient with animals who have experienced trauma or abuse. The two stories that touched me the most profoundly were Faye the Momma cat and Molly the Jack Russell terrier; be prepared to reach for a handkerchief before reading these. Superb read and highly recommended.

Foluso Falaye

Lorilyn Roberts details her journey with the many wonderful pets she has had from childhood to parenthood: rescuing cats and dogs from the streets, partaking in the Atlanta Dog Show and the Humane Society adoption program with family, getting the best medical care for her fur babies and struggling to find closure for the loss of her beloved pets that passed away. Are pets an example of God's unconditional love for us, and are they going to be with us in heaven? Follow Lorilyn Roberts as she shares her opinions about these questions and gives an account of her tumultuous gardening experience, fight against breast cancer, and a trip to Israel in Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul.

You know a book has touched and connected with your core self when it reminds you of your most cherished memories. Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul brought to mind the pure excitement of owning a first pet; it is almost impossible to read it without being moved. Each pet has its unique character; some will make you cry with laughter and others will make you shed real tears. In the end, you will want to own a pet and try to give them your best. I learnt many things about domestic animals that I wish I had known when I owned one and would be useful to me when I decide to get another one. Lorilyn's book is perfect for former, current, and future pet owners and even those who don't know they need one. This might be the conviction you need to get one.

Vincent Dublado

Lorilyn Roberts is a successful author who has lived with many rescued animals over the past 35 years. In her memoir, Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul, she talks about life’s miracles and inspiration, drawing on her accounts of the memorable moments with the furry creatures she has welcomed inside her home. She tries to address that deeply profound question if our departed furry friends are waiting for us in the afterlife. This stems from all the raw and biting pain that she has gone through from witnessing the passing of her pets. Her year-long bout with cancer pushed her to ask how to live again and God showed her by finding contentment in the things that bring her joy. Loving her four-legged friends has helped her ease the pain, knowing that she is surrounded not only by helping hands but by comforting paws as well.

You do not need to feel embarrassed about crying when reading how Lorilyn Roberts copes with the loss of some of her furry friends. You do not need to be a spiritual type of person to see how heartfelt the grief she has experienced through profound loss while she mustered all her faith, hope, and courage to beat cancer. Roberts’ writing has a strong emotional feel from the very beginning. She dedicates this work to all the cats and dogs that made a mark on her family’s life, a requiem for the creatures that gave her unconditional love. If you want a heartwarming true story to brighten your day, here it is. Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul is an inspiring and highly recommended read for anyone who firmly believes that their beloved departed pets are waiting for them at the rainbow bridge.

Tammy Ruggles

Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul by Lorilyn Roberts is a touching memoir that explores the possibility of humans being reunited with their pets in heaven one day. This is the question most of us have pondered at one time or another. If anyone has bonded with a pet or other animal so closely that they feel like part of your family; if a furry friend has spent time with you, comforted you, stayed by your side, protected you, given you unconditional love--this book is for you. If you've ever grieved the loss of a precious pet, you can relate to these stories. Lorilyn tells of her own pets, the pets of others, and how, based on Scripture, she is convinced that we will see our lost pets in heaven.

Written by a Christian author, this book delves into themes besides grief and heaven. Roberts also explores Christian themes like the folly of choosing worldly pursuits over worship, not fully trusting God, and how to address personal strife in light of God, the Bible, and the Christian walk. I really like how she describes her longing for heaven, and how you constantly have to make conscious decisions daily to serve God and make Christian choices, not worldly ones. I also like that she acknowledges how being a Christian means imperfection and bad choices at times. Her passages on C.S. Lewis are interesting, and it feels like you really get to know the author through the stories of the animals. There is a warmth to Lorilyn's writing that you can feel, like a cozy sweater, and she is gifted with insight into pets and how they can be blessings in our lives. Fans of Chicken Soup for the Soul books will love Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul by Lorilyn Roberts.

Cecelia Hopkins

Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul by Lorilyn Roberts began with the author’s grief at the death of her beloved cat Kenobi. It then flashed back through all her encounters with animals. Childhood, marriage, divorce, adopting children, and surviving cancer were all enriched by pets. Gypsy and Gretchen (the German shepherd), a Samoyed named Tasha, and her sister’s champion Noah were family dogs. Shelley was a stray that wandered into the marital home. After her divorce, Roberts acquired Rex, who was a Shetland sheepdog. Kittens Baruch, Abbey, and Thomasina all brought blessings to her life. Molly was a Jack Russell. Boots, Tinkerbell, and Ivy were cats, while Sirius was a collie adopted from a shelter. Twila was her daughter’s cat. Lewis went missing and was eventually replaced by Anakin. Kenobi and Faye started as foster cats. Finally, after Kenobi’s death, Roberts had Gracie for companionship during COVID-19.

Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul is an eclectic mixture of autobiography and animal anecdotes. My favorite part involved the construction of a memorial garden for deceased pets. Roberts was tipped off that the landscaper was overcharging, adding excitement to the story! The other section I really enjoyed was the theological discussion. According to Roberts, God brought all the animals to Adam with the intention they would provide companionship (p.281). Roberts firmly believes that after animals die, their spirits return to the creator (p.279). Roberts didn’t provide the definitive answer to the tantalizing question of whether animals are resurrected, but she made a very good argument.