Title :: The Beloved Dearly
Series :: NA
Author :: Doug Cooney
Rating :: 4
Main Characters :
Ernie is the creative, ingenious schemer who is a born entrepreneur. At ten years old he starts up a business giving dearly beloved pets a proper burial. With his team of kids Ernie’s little business meets much success. They clean up and use an old abandoned lot to bury their customers’ pets. Over the course of the book Ernie befriends his funeral team as well as a kindly Cat Lady.
Dusty is the artsy mastermind behind casket design. He does a beautiful job on his funeral boxes and plans out the program for each funeral. His creations become more and more elaborate. He uses everything from macaroni glue ons to a science fair volcano to celebrate the lives of the deceased.
Swimming Pool is a spunky little sister to a clan of boys. The story of her naming is odd, but strangely sweet. She is the professional crier. She knows just how to produce the tears, kindness, and consideration each client needs at a pet funeral. This girl quickly becomes the heart of the entire operation.
Tony is the muscle. He digs the graves, works the internment, and mostly stays behind the scenes. He is not complicated and neither is his role in the dearly beloved scheme. He considers himself a free agent, and when he “get’s a gig, he’s gotta dig.” After all there are many uses for a hole in the ground.
Basic Plot :
Ernie keeps getting in trouble for his aspiring pursuits of becoming a businessman. He tried renting out his skateboard, selling burgers in the school lunchroom, and several others means to take advantage of his peers. His dad has had enough, steps in, and says that if he catches Ernie in one more cockamamie business scam then he will be grounded. So this new idea is kept on the down low, which is hard because business is booming. Ernie and his team use a dressed up vacant lot to house deceased pets in their final resting place. They treat each client with the utmost respect and solemnity, quite the task for a bunch of elementary school kids.
I loved reading this book. Light, funny, creative and genuine all the way around. This is the type of book that has your imagination taking flight and brings back the best of childhood memories, at least it did for me. It is a tale of friendship, family, and, of course, death. Though this story certainly discusses much about loss, the story is all about life. You do not have to be a pet owner to like this book, it just helps a little. There is no language, no sex, and nothing to be ashamed of. Death is a fairly heavy topic and there are some icky descriptions about dead pets, but that is about it as far as worrisome content.