By Dawn Kessinger
‘Stepdog: A Memoir’
When Mireya (Mia) Navarro fell in love with Jim, she was prepared for the challenge of stepkids, but she had never worried about a stepdog. Mia quickly discovers that Eddie, Jim’s jealous dog, has waged war on her. From peeing outside Jim and Mia’s bedroom door, to barking and growling at the sight of Mia and physically placing himself between the couple, Eddie makes his displeasure known about Mia intruding into the family.
It’s not as though Mia’s a cat person – she has loved dogs since childhood. This battle with Eddie is something new. Ignoring him doesn’t work, nor does avoiding him, trying to lose him or nagging Jim about him. Even being friendly and trying to win Eddie over doesn’t work for Mia – unless Jim is out of town. Mia vows to make it work somehow, and then something happens that helps Mia see Eddie in a different light.
In ‘Trigger Warning,’ Neil Gaiman invites the reader in his introduction to check out his information regarding the source, or inspiration, for the stories and poems that follow either before or after reading the stories – whatever works best for the reader.
There’s also a warning given: Read at your own risk. Danger lies ahead, in monsters (but there’s also miracles), poetry, and other creatures and events that may hurt or upset you and trigger your most monumental fears, worries and incomprehensible reactions.
Have you ever considered how making a chair resembles making a book? In Gaiman’s poem, “Making a Chair,” an intriguing question is asked. Should there be warnings tucked into books like there are warnings included with chair instructions? You’ve got to read it to believe it (and laugh while you can, before something terrifying comes along and eats that smile for a midnight snack).