Friday, January 18, 2013

REVIEW: Have You Seen Marie? by Sandra Cisneros

Have You Seen Marie? by Sandra Cisneros, with ilustrations by Ester Hernández. Published 2012 by Alfred A. Knopf. Nonfiction.

I had to read and review this because I love Sandra Cisneros and because it's a Marie book. It's also about a cat, a fact I discovered once I flipped through it a little. So, that's shooting fish in a barrel right there.

But humor aside, Have You Seen Marie? is actually a beautiful little book, easy to read in a sitting and filled with lovely pastels by San Francisco artist Ester Hernández. Think of it as a picture book about grief and loss for adults. The book tells the story of a woman named Sandra who loses her mother, then loses her cat Marie.

She and her friend Roz go looking for the cat. The two women poster, knock on doors, and call and call, searching for the cat. Along the way they touch base with neighbors and old friends, and get to know their entire community.  After her mother's death, Sandra "felt like a glove left behind at the bus station." Roz is the only person she knows in Texas, but after a day of searching that's not true anymore. Losing the cat forces her other loss to the fore and she has to begin to experience loss in order to begin to learn to live with it.

"There is no getting over death," Cisneros writes in the Afterword, "only learning how to travel alongside it." This book would be a lovely, thoughtful gift for yourself or for anyone you know who is experiencing loss. I know I'll keep it on my bedside table probably forever.

Rating: BUY

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.