Marley and Me: Life and Love With The World’s Worst Dog tells the story of John and Jenny’s life together, along with their unforgettable dog Marley. John and Jenny were young in love without a care in the world, until the day they brought home an energetic yellow furball. Life would never be the same.
John Grogan does an exceptional job of incorporating a sentimental feel into the story as Marley grows old. It is something many readers can relate to if they have ever owned a dog. It is easy to go from laughing out loud to shedding tears while reading this book. One hilarious moment is when Marley shreds apart the garage after he was ignorantly left alone, and not only 20 pages later Jenny loses her well-anticipated pregnancy. There is no difficulty in becoming emotionally attached to the characters throughout the story. Marley is given a personality, just like his kind hearted, unprepared owners. He begins as a crazy puppy that cannot be tamed but it feels like mere minutes have passed by the time you are approaching the dreaded back cover. It’s hard to read without tears filling your eyes, denying your vision, when Marley is elderly and is not able to even walk up the stairs without risking a dangerous fall.
John Grogan talks about his and his wife’s relationship every bit as much as he discusses the dog. His memoir is a story of marriage and family, new towns and new jobs, children and postpartum depression, as well as life with a dog that constantly provokes laughter along with frustration. Even when his family was at wit’s end, Marley was a model of devotion. People from all walks of life are able to learn a lesson from Marley; Unconditional love comes in many forms.