What People Are Saying

Reviews of Jem: Lessons in Living


By Bruce Frantz on February 27, 2016

Touching story about the friendship between a man and his best friend. The best friend returns meaning and purpose back to the man and also brings his family back together. I wanted to read straight through and did. The intro at each chapter was unique and was like a special story in itself. The descriptions and words flowed. What I’m trying to say is “I really liked it!” And will wait impatiently for the next book.


By CL on February 22, 2016

An animal lover is a special kind of person and John Donald Middleton solidifies this fact in his memoir, “Jem: Lessons in Living.” He chronicles his life with his family, which includes both humans and many canines. There is one dog that steals his heart, Jem. I don’t want to share too much but if you’ve ever had an animal change your life for the better, this book’s for you. Mr. Middleton’s words are uplifting, heartrending and honest.


By Illyria on February 22, 2016

This short memoir is a charming, graceful, and sometimes painfully honest look at some very hard truths. Middleton may have set out to write about the life and loss of his beloved pug, Jem, but in doing so he clearly learned a lot about his own life, and his relationships with humans as well as animals. The author is disarmingly open about his own foibles and flaws, and while the pain of Jem’s loss comes through in a way all of us who love friends with paws can (unfortunately) relate to, what I ultimately took away from the book was a sense of gratitude: we folk on two legs are just plain lucky when we have the opportunity to know and love four-legged souls like Jem. I do hope Middleton will write more books!


By Molly Mac on February 15, 2016

“Jem” is an endearing, heartwarming relationship story between the author and all the dogs he has had over the years, his grown up children, his patient wife, and one special pug named Jem. All dog owners will connect with this memoir of raising and loving dogs, recovering lost relationships, and the living with loss of something you love.