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My Menagerie: My Life

Robinson, Carolyn

ISBN 10: 1463517521 / ISBN 13: 9781463517526
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2011
Used Condition: Good
From Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)

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Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP89919188

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Bibliographic Details

Title: My Menagerie: My Life

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: 2011

Book Condition:Good

About this title


This book originated in the author’s memory of tales of the animals she had happily collected through the years. As early as the introduction, however, she adds her own life alongside her family of God’s Little Creatures, and the work becomes a memoir. The introduction is the writer’s revelation of youthful expectations of marriage, children, and hometown living. As the autobiography moves, her life offers different perspectives to a ready receiver. As she matures, her growth shows new ways to fulfill her personhood. While the book offers no chronology necessary for understanding, My Menagerie: My Life takes the reader through the writer’s early childhood to her senior years. In each charming section, she recalls her favorite pets, the major incidents in her life, and the joy her friends feel for their own pets. Those bonds, so fondly recalled and honored, will appeal to all readers who are animal lovers and who will enjoy seeing a memoir with the unusual and fresh insight of the way favorite dogs, cats, birds, and squirrels have enriched her own life and the lives of beloved friends. Her reserve around horses and birthday-party ponies and her misunderstanding of how to feed baby birds are important to her concern for all of God’s creation. Robinson’s life has been, at times, difficult—for example, her memory of the Great Depression, the loss of her father when she was only twelve, the courage of her mother who supported the family during her father’s long illness and who cared for Robinson herself as she grew to be a young woman, still in love with animals, still full of faith despite hardships. Pat, her first puppy, is a consolation gift to the twelve-year-old on the death of her dad in 1941, at the age of 72, while Mom was only 46.The child is in junior high and finds relief that Dad dies in March before World War II begins in December. The war affects the family personally—as it does most citizens; however, even Robinson’s uncle, who ultimately lived to be 100 and was the oldest-living graduate of the Citadel, in Charleston, South Carolina, survives the horror of being a prisoner of war for four years but comes home safely. A graduate of Meredith College, the largest private, all-female college in the Southeast, Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in religion. True to her mission to follow the Golden Rule and in a time when women were rarely ministers, she takes on a ministry of her own, continuing to celebrate the animals and the friends who enrich her life. Only one chapter focuses entirely on Robinson’s life. In 1956, the City of Raleigh names the writer a Community Ambassador, sending her for the summer to the lovely Bosnian City of Sarajevo in the former Yugoslavia. She returns to report her experiences of that summer to organizations, clubs, schools, and churches. Soon afterward, she is named one of Raleigh’s “Ten Most Outstanding Young Women.” As the result of these honors, she receives nine job invitations but chooses the offer of a career at her beloved Meredith College. Robinson and her mother, both accomplished women, live contentedly with a series of pets after Robinson is positioned in her dream job as director of publications. Though she is overjoyed to find a companion and life partner in her marriage to Rob, his death nineteen months later leaves her devastated but well-supported in her loss by her mother, her friends at Meredith, her church family, and, of course, her pets. The interwoven experiences with people and pets remind readers that we are all connected on this earth, just as was true in the Book of Genesis, when God creates the animals, the world they inhabit, and their caretakers, the humans in their habitat—the Garden of Eden. This epic metaphor suits well Robinson’s own experiences. She sees life whole and sees it clearly, never omitting the furry and winged creatures who are part of this heaven on earth.

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