Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Katie Up and Down the Hall

Publisher's Summary. A personal memoir by bestselling author and celebrity journalist Glenn Plaskin, KATIE is a moving story about a man who discovers the true meaning of family after adopting a cocker spaniel puppy. Through the magnetic personality of his mischievous dog, the author soon makes powerful connections with several of his down-the-hall neighbors in a high-rise located in the unique Battery Park City neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. First, Katie trots into the lives of Pearl and Arthur, a warm-hearted elderly couple just a few doors down from Glenn. Later, John, a single Dad, and his rambunctious young son, Ryan, also move in and are seduced by Katie's charms.

All of their lives are profoundly changed as they are transformed from neighbors to friends to family, with Pearl as matriarch. The motherless boy finds a "Granny"; his Dad inherits a mother, Glenn discovers a confidante. Set in New York City, we witness nearly sixteen years of antics and family adventures spanning Hollywood high times, bad health, accidents, blustery winters, even the terrors of 9/11. Through it all, the family clings to each other, sharing a deep bond that give each comfort, support and security.

Based upon a widely-read article in Family Circle, here is an unforgettable story about the love that makes a family-one that transcends the hard realities of time, tragedy, and inevitable loss.

Review. What makes a family? Shared DNA? Official legal documents? What about a shared dog? In the memoir Katie Up in Down the Hall by Glenn Plaskin a group of five neighbors form a bond through a little blonde Cocker Spaniel named Katie.

When Manhattan apartment dweller and formerly dogless Plaskin adopts Katie he is overwhelmed with questions on how to take care of her. A mutual acquaintance introduces him to neighbors Pearl and her husband Arthur, an elderly couple who live down the hall and who had recently lost their Cocker Spaniel. Pearl and Arthur quickly adopt Katie and Plaskin into their fold with shared meals and pet sitting Katie during the day while the author worked. A few years later, single father John and his young son Ryan move onto the same floor as Plaskin and company. Motherless Ryan becomes enamored with Katie and Pearl and so the triad expands to five in number. Over the next decade the gang shares triumphs and tragedies along with the flotsam and jetsam that comprise everyday living. As Plaskin later reflects, “what I had experienced was the abiding love of family – in the form that I had found it . . . .”

Katie Up and Down the Hall is much more than a dog memoir (although I would have enjoyed it even if it only operated on that level). Rather it is a moving story of how love blossoms in the most untraditional of circumstances.

Katie Up and Down the Hall is a sweet story that will warm the hearts of both canine and non-canine owners alike – just keep the Kleenex handy!

Advance review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.


  1. Nice review, even if I am not a doglover ;)

  2. I can't wait to read this book! It sounds like it speaks of the power of love.

  3. Sounds like a great story. It's funny how one dog can bring people together like that.

  4. oh, I will have to read this one! I'm a huge dog owner. I have a very bad, spoiled beagle. Adding this one to my wishlist!