Sunday, April 17, 2022

Review: DEWEY by Vicki Myron


Rating: 3.5/5 stars

This book has been on my to-read list for the past seven years since I first bought it, and then was pushed higher on my list five years ago when I gifted a copy to my mom and she loved it and urged me to read it, but it looks like 2022 is finally the year I got around to actually reading it. 

I love cats. I always have, and as such, I have a soft spot for them in my heart. Dewey is a nonfiction story about a library cat in rural Iowa that changed the lives of all the library patrons that met and played with him, and even had an impact on people around the world. It’s very wholesome.

While I loved reading the parts of the book about Dewey and all his adventures and hijinks in the library and about how he affected various different patrons and overall made the town of Spencer, IA a happier place, that wasn’t all this book was about. Dewey is more of Vicki Myron’s memoir of her life, and it just happens that Dewey the cat was a huge portion of and influence on her life, so he takes center stage in the book. 

However, Vicki also talks about what it’s like to live in Iowa versus anywhere else, the farming and agriculture of the area, and the town’s residents. She tells us stories of her time spent growing up there, moving away before moving back, getting married and getting pregnant, having a harrowing surgery post-pregnancy, and then divorcing her alcoholic husband. She also talks a lot about the library as a whole, such as about its services and how it underwent renovations, and what she did in her role as library director. So much of the book was about events and situations that had an effect on her life, and she used the example of telling us how Dewey got her through it all because she always looked forward to seeing him at the library. These are the parts of the book I found less exciting because they really weren’t about Dewey at all but about Vicki. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but I came for the cat content so I expected 100% cat content, and it was closer to a 50/50 split. 

I will say that I really wish I had grown up near a library that had a library cat. I spent a lot of time in my youth at the local library, and I think it would be just the coolest experience to have had a cat there. More businesses need to incorporate cats into their stores, like the classic idea of a cat that lives in a bookstore. Let’s bring those back. 

Overall this was a fine book. Dewey sounds like a wonderful cat that I wish I could have known, and I enjoyed hearing about his story. I didn’t care as much for all the extraneous details in the book, but the overall story was still charming and heartwarming. 

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