It took me awhile to get through Kasey to the Rescue by Ellen Rogers. Why? I started it over the holidays, then things got hectic. However, the book’s poignant story was strong enough for me to immediately pick it back up and remember what was going on. This sort of tragedy never leaves you. The book’s author, Ellen Rogers, starts the book off in the moment of tragedy as she discovers her son has had a terrible accident. Having always called herself a “tragedy snob” due to many unfortunate events she has weathered in her life, she is thrown into a situation she does not know how to deal with. The book follows her son’s recovery process and the process of integrating a helper monkey–the title character, Kasey–into their home.
Kasey to the Rescue is a book you read for the story. You read it and count your blessings, at the same time acknowledging the good things that have come out of their situation (Kasey, new relationships, emotional strength, etc.). Rogers is great at delivering chaotic moments in a humorous manner, and you feel like you’re actually there. The book made me laugh out loud even as I couldn’t begin to imagine how hopeless they must have felt. Rogers stands out as a great mother who stands strong when many of us would have let our lives crumble around us.
That said, this book is not the sort of book you read for literary value or eloquent writing. The writing style is good in terms of being light and grammatically correct… but it won’t make anyone’s “favorite quotes” section on their Facebook profile, if you know what I mean. The title and prominent picture of the capuchin monkey on the cover of the book leads one to believe the book is all about Kasey, the monkey. This really bothered me at the beginning of the book, when there were chapters where the monkey was not yet present. I think Rogers was aware of this because she added in notes about where Kasey would be at the time (living and working with a trainer), but the transitions were poor and awkward. As I read on, though, it bothered me less. It would have been impossible to separate Kasey’s story from the story of Ned (the son)’s accident and recovery. The story is clearly written from the mother’s point of view, and I like that she didn’t try to speak for her family by representing their opinions in the book. On the other hand, I was curious about what Ned might be feeling/thinking throughout a lot of it. The book does include a short afterword by Ned (and another prominent member of the story), which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Rogers mentions religion a few times in the work, including the assertion that this was a time when faith could be the strongest because they needed the hope. Religion was not a prominent theme by any means, which I sincerely appreciated. I feel this makes the book much more marketable for a mainstream audience.
Kasey to the Rescue is a fast read and tells a truly inspirational story. I am glad to have read it.
Where did I get this book? ARC won through LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
2010. New York: Hyperion. 270 pages.