It felt like I was reading my own story, in many ways

My Gentle Barn: Creating a Sanctuary Where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope - Ellie Laks

Like Ellie Laks, I had a troubled childhood (not nearly as troubled as hers, but nonetheless ...).  Also like Ellie Laks, I felt as though animals were the only ones who really understood me, and who wanted to listen.  Many a secret was whispered into the ear of the family cat.

In any event, Ellie Laks knows early on in life that her mission is to rescue animals.  She puts that mission on the shelf many times before starting the Gentle Barn ... at which time she discovers whole new challenges and whole new strengths at the same time.

Laks writes with a personable, frank tone that makes readers part of her story, welcoming us in to her life and her Gentle Barn with humor and honesty.  I found myself profoundly moved by some of the stories of troubled youths who were helped by visits to the barn, and laughing at some of the foibles that Laks experienced along the way.

The whole gamut of emotions is on display as Laks tells her story.  Highly recommended for fans of memoir and animal lovers everywhere.