The Animals is an unsentimental exploration of the terrible burden of meaning and emotion carried by the animals in her life - the forbidden childhood pets, the disastrous attempt at pig farming as her high-powered marriage fell apart, the deaf Akita ("dog of the divorce"), and Ben, the beautiful, beloved Border Collie who spirals into madness.
Interwoven with the stories of the animals are the stories of her children and their father, her lovers, her second husband, and through it all we see the woman herself - vivid, intense, whole-hearted, and loving.
"This is a book with a big heart. Carol Flynn delightfully charts the extraordinary procession of animals; dogs, cats, pigs, goats and a host of others, that pass through her family’s life. She honors each one with character and love. Along the way she tells a life story, full of bumps and bruises and surprises. The Animals will stand alongside Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals as a classic report of the charged and always illuminating relationship between our creaturely selves and the creatures that surround us. It is a lovely book."
- Jonathan Wilson, author of the novel A Palestine Affair (2003), the story collection
An Ambulance is on the Way: Stories of Men in Trouble (2006), and other works.