Just Life

A Novel


By Neil Abramson

Read by Tanya Eby

Formats and Prices


This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 10, 2016. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

From Neil Abramson, the acclaimed author of Unsaid, comes a riveting novel that explores the complex connection between humans and animals.

Veterinarian Samantha Lewis and her team are dedicated to providing a sanctuary for unwanted, abused, and abandoned dogs in New York City. But every day it gets harder to operate her no-kill shelter. Sam is already at her breaking point when she learns of an unidentified, dangerous virus spreading through their neighborhood. The medical community can only determine that animals are the carriers. Amid growing panic and a demand for immediate answers, suspicion abruptly falls on dogs as the source. Soon the governor is calling in the National Guard to enforce a quarantine–no dog may leave the area.

Samantha knows from her own painful history that, despite the lack of real evidence against the dogs, a quarantine may only be the beginning. As questions about the source of the virus mount and clash with the pressure for a politically expedient resolution, Sam is forced to make life-altering choices. She finds allies in a motley crew of New Yorkers–a local priest, a troubled teen, a smart-mouthed former psychologist, and a cop desperate to do the right thing–all looking for sanctuary from their own personal demons. But the person Sam needs the most to unravel the mystery of the virus and save the dogs is the last one she’d ever want to call on–because contacting him will mean confronting the traumatic past she has fought so hard to escape.


  • "Propelled by a strong moral imperative, Abramson's taut and suspenseful novel demonstrates what happens when the lines of scientific ethics and citizen welfare are blurred in the name of political expediency."
    Carol Haggas, Booklist
  • "Rarely has a novel captured so movingly the deep bonds between people and the animals that share their lives"
    Parade on Unsaid
  • "Unsaid is an extraordinary story of animals, afterlife, and the power of love. I found myself captivated by the world of this book. It will make you remember, rethink, and rejoice in every meaningful relationship you've ever had. Everyone needs to read this book!"
    Garth Stein, author of the international bestseller The Art of Racing in the Rain on Unsaid
  • "UNSAID will really make you think about the relationship between people and animals. I was not able to put it down, and I read parts of it twice."
    Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human on Unsaid
  • "Abramson delivers a touching and dramatic story that is sure to please animal lovers.... [A] solid story of loss and love."
    Library Journal on Unsaid
  • "Just Life is a new treasure that I'm adding to my list of favorite books about dogs and people. Rather than just writing about the human-animal bond, Abramson seems to write from inside it...Just Life is ethically rich, with several different interwoven themes running throughout the story...Just Life is not just for animal lovers, though, but for anyone who enjoys a good story with interesting characters and a captivating plot."
    Jessica Pierce, Ph.D., Psychology Today
  • "If you love dogs and well-written, suspenseful fiction that is uplifting and will inspire you to open an animal sanctuary, read this lovely novel."
    Jeffrey Masson, author of Dogs Never Lie About Love, The Dog Who Couldn't Stop Loving, and Dogs Make Us Human

On Sale
May 10, 2016
Hachette Audio

Neil Abramson

About the Author

NEIL ABRAMSON is the author of Unsaid. A partner in a Manhattan law firm, Abramson is a past board member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, an award recipient from the ASPCA for his legal work on behalf of animals, and a founding member of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Legal Issues Relating to Animals. He and his wife, a veterinarian, share their home with a wide variety of animals.

Learn more about this author