Book Review: Charlie: A Love Story by Barbara Lampert


About The Book

Charlie: A Love Story tells of the beautiful love between Charlie, a Golden Retriever, and the author, Barbara Lampert. It takes place in Malibu, California. When Charlie turned eleven years old and started having some health problems, a journal Barbara was keeping about her garden quickly became mostly about Charlie. Charlie: A Love Story is an intimate look at an incredible connection between a canine and a human. And as a psychotherapist who specializes in relationships, Barbara brings that sensibility and understanding to Charlie’s story as well. Charlie was Barbara’s loyal confidante and best friend. He was indomitable, had a zest for life and an uncanny emotional intelligence. Charlie: A Love Story is about devotion, joy, loss, and renewal, about never giving up or giving in. But mostly it’s about an extraordinary dog and an extraordinary relationship.


About The Author

Barbara Lampert is a Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in relationships. She’s been in private practice in Brentwood, California for over twenty years. She considers her work a calling and loves what she does. She has a doctorate in medical sociology and two master’s degrees – one in psychology and one in sociology. Barbara has adored dogs her whole life. They’re her passion! She notes that for a lot of people, their dogs are their best friends. She loves helping people know that’s ok – that a soul-satisfying relationship may be found with any being and needs to be treasured. Besides her love of dogs, Barbara is an avid gardener and finds herself gardening in much of her spare time. She sees her garden as a work of art. She loves being in nature – the miracle of growth, the ever-changing landscape, its beauty. Today Barbara lives happily in Malibu, California with her husband David (married twenty-eight years!) and their six-year-old Golden Retriever, Harry. Barbara hopes that Charlie: A Love Story will be a tribute not only to a magnificent dog but to all dogs everywhere. You can visit her website at

My Review

The story of Charlie is a sentimental journey, told from the twilight of his life. Charlie is a Golden Retriever, one of stoic character and full of life. The author, Charlie’s owner, Barbara Lampart, narrates the story of the last few years of Charlie’s life, with all the trials that they had to overcome, but how her love for Charlie was an overriding constant.

It is easy to see how close the bond is between Charlie and Barbara, and I think anyone who has ever loved any animal will be able to relate to the words on the pages.

The backdrop for the story is the authors own garden, indeed the publicity information that came with my review copy, mentioned that the book started life as a garden journal; and it is in this setting where we are introduced to Charlie quite late in his life. As the book progresses we are treated to glances of a younger Charlie, including how the author came to become his owner.

I said that this book is a sentimental journey, and it is, the overriding sentiment is the love that the author has for Charlie, and her other animals. It is clear that Charlie has carved a very special place in the authors’ heart, and it is easy to see why such a dog would do that. Charlie’s character brings the book to life, through well written gentle prose which makes the book a pleasure to read.

For a dog that obviously led a very full life, this short book, is but one snapshot in the life of Charlie, it is not hard to imagine however the adventures that the author and Charlie had together earlier in his life. It is Charlie’s strength of constitution and character that really bring home how marvellous a dog Charlie was, and how he was prepared to share that with everyone he met, and now, through the pages of this book, with anyone who reads its words.


My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars, I Really Liked It.
Where to buy:
You can get a copy of Charlie: A Love Story from Amazon (USA) or Amazon (UK) or Barnes and Noble.

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