Reviews for His Name Was Ben

I’m so grateful to all who have purchased a copy of my book. And to those who have taken the time to write a review. The profits are going to help rescue dogs. A few of the latest reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars … from the heart with a rare openness to life love and compassion, September 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
This is a book written from the heart with a rare openness to life love and compassion. Gradually the characters come alive and permeate the reader with their intelligence, quirkiness and celebration of life. A great experience, thoroughly recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for joy and love, September 20, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
Mahurin writes with heart and passion, a story not about facing death but what it is to be alive. And it’s never too late. This every living, breathing moment, is here to be valued, a point driven home in this poignant read. This is a must read for anyone facing a terminal illness, anyone with a family me member with a terminal illness, or anyone wanting a glimpse into revelations that bring the miraculous living moment to the present, for joy and love. A truly beautiful romance novel that I will read again and again.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book offers many gifts to the reader., September 22, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
Mahurin, who wrote the wildly successful and award-winning “The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap,” has done it again! She is an adept writer who knows how to create complex characters living complicated lives, tugging the reader into the world she creates. The details and dialog ring so true that I felt I was in the story with them, often forgetting that I was reading. Paulette Mahurin’s writing is that good! This time, we’re drawn into the intimate lives of two cancer patients. It’s clear Paulette used her medical background and extensive research because the sections on the types of cancer, treatment options, and side effects are quite sophisticated. But this is no maudlin read. Instead, courage, hope, love, wisdom, and even levity are woven throughout the individual and collective journeys the characters take. This book offers many gifts to the reader. To me, the best books offer more than just a memorable story, which this one certainly does. The best books linger with you long after you’ve read them because they’ve taken you on an ethical or philosophical journey. “His Name Was Ben” took me on such a journey. If I was facing a terminal illness, would I opt for toxic treatment or let myself die naturally? Would I have the courage to start a relationship knowing that I had cancer AND that he had cancer? Does cancer matter since none of us knows what going to happen in the next moment? These questions still haunt me after reading this book. The best books also take you places you’ve never been, or get you to see things in ways you’ve never seen them. They open up new perspectives. Again, Mahurin’s book gave me this gift. I learned a great deal about cancer treatment, its side effects and the emotional toll it takes on both the patient and loved ones. I love reading fiction and learning things that apply to real life! At its core, this book is a story about accepting oneself, being open to romance, overcoming fear, and taking chances. Basically, it’s a love story about life, about living life consciously rather than on automatic pilot. Thank you Paulette for the gift of this book.
Amazon Reviews:
Format: Paperback

“His name was Ben” by Paulette Mahurin is a beautifully written, bitter-sweet love story between two cancer patients, Ben and Sara, and really also between them and her Rottweiler dog Tazzie.
Sara, a nurse practitioner, develops an aggressive type of breast cancer, first detected by said dog, Tazzie. The story of her diagnosis and the initial treatment is full of raw emotion and written with great empathy and with amazing medical knowledge.
We also learn about her family background and the issues that have made Sara’s life not the happiest until now. Blessed with good insurance and access to a top oncologist she enters a special research programme that trials a new treatment for cancer. The drug works and increases her libido, which is why she eventually asks out a handsome fellow cancer patient named Ben.
Once the two of them embark on their untimely love affair they help each other heal and work through their personal issues: Ben’s alcoholic parents; Sara’s unhappy childhood with a controlling and critical mother, a schizophrenic brother and her divorce from ex-husband Henry.
Mahurin has chosen her characters very well and given them so much more than just bad things like cancer. Ben and Sara are both highly evolved and reflective people who have the ability to work through their problems, speak honestly with each other and develop at last a proper relationship in their life based on solid foundations – it was moving to read about it.
The other characters in the book are equally interesting and get enough coverage to add extra colour to the often humorous and certainly inspiring novel in front of you; be it Sara’s mother, the cancer doctor or the friends – not to forget the lovely Rottweiler Tazzie.
Against the biggest of obstacles a couple can face, the positive message is that it is never too late to start living. The hope that patients have attached to miracle cures and new treatment means nothing when time is only spent on the clock but does not translate into moments of shared love and happiness. Be there breakthrough studies or not, never give up on living. Amidst so much understandably tragic and miserable cancer stories here is a book that shows positive role models to look up to and to keep in mind when the unspeakable happens to you.
I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

By Wanda on September 25, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I almost managed to read this book in one sitting. Almost.
Ben meets a girl. Ok a woman whom is treated by the same oncologist he is seeing for the first time…
So begins an epic love story at times raw with naked truth about cancer at others lyrical about the mere act of living. Between our main two protagonists is a dog. One Ben learns to love as both he and his new love interest learn how to take a crash coarse with coming to terms with what formed them, driven their actions and dictated how they would live their lives.
Together the two love birds and Tazzie the mini-rotti lives through more subplots in a matter of months than the two human protagonists dealt with in their 45 + years leading up to diagnosis.Ultimately this story does not romantasize the horror of cancer. It is never over explicit but it does portray a less than romantic view of a very painful usually fatal disease.
But in the end although it seems as if the story is about death and endings at first it is in fact about love, life and hope.

A moving story where the characters grow so much it left me breathless.

I am convinced that this story will not be everybodies cup of tea. It is simply to “real” to be universally loved. I am however convinced that for the most part this book will be a firm favourite and it will serve not to only. Entertain but also to inspire.

By Ronni L. Sanlo on September 20, 2014
Format: Paperback

His Name was Ben is such a dear, sweet, tender love story about real issues that touch people’s lives. From true love to precious pets and friends, to crazy family members, this book held my attention from start to finish. Actually, I could not stop reading until I turned the last page. Paulette Mahurin has written yet another powerful, passionate book that will surely touch every reader’s heart.
Format: Paperback

An insightful , compassionate tale about love and life in the moment, when a moment is all there is. Both ordinary and extraordinary, Sara and Ben kept me up all night rooting for them, as did Mahurin of course, a writer of exceptional heart, for her tender and wise depiction of love against all odds.
Format: Kindle Edition

I want to start off with saying that Paulette Mahurin is an incredibly talented author. I can only hope to someday be half the writer she is. His Name Was Ben is another wonderful novel from Paulette Mahurin. I really love her books because she tells a great story about people who are not perfect, but are doing the best they can. Paulette Mahurin writes heartfelt stories about deeply flawed and human characters and about tragedy; after all, what would a great story be without a tragic event!
As the author has done in her previous book, here again, she delivers a fascinating read that you just can’t put down. Her characters are created with the perfect precision that only Paulette Mahurin can do. The story plot will keep you reading and make you hunger for more when you reach the end. I read her book, The Persecution Of Mildred Dunlap, and fell in love with Mahurin’s writing. I have been waiting for another book like it, and she has come through for me. Mrs Mahurin writes stories that pull out a wide range of emotions when you are reading them. The characters in His Name Was Ben are relatable people.
She writes heroes and heroines that are a little different than you are used to reading about. Sara Phillips is a likable character, and we hurt for her as she deals with the hell she’d been through, on the rollercoaster ride her life had become since the doctor diagnosed her with a fearful disease. She will need those around her as she struggles with an ugly reality, the monster in her life – cancer. Once healed from her double mastectomy, she awakens to life when meeting Ben Gottlieb, who works in the legal department at NASA. Ben is a patient, too, waiting to see Michael Zimmerman for a consultation. I hate spoilers so I won’t steal the other readers the pleasure of immersing in this compelling, touching story.
Tazz, the Rottweiler Sara saved from the shelter, is a perfect counter balance for the heartbreaking circumstances, Sara and Ben pass through.
Paulette Mahurin writes stories full of empathy, raw honesty, and grace. Her characters are memorable, the dialogue believable. All in all the message is a positive one – fight, never give up. It’s about love, life versus living, believing in yourself and others. I highly recommend this book.
This is the story of Ben and Sara, two cancer patients who meet at Dr Zimmerman’s surgery. With her dog Taz and best friend Ellen for support, Sara embarks on a new friendship, spending precious time with a new love in her life. The story is well paced and all the characters are well conceived, making this book a real page turner.Beautifully crafted, this is a compelling and emotional read. As the main characters assess and analyse their own lives, I found myself looking at my own values and confronting my own mortality. Am I truly happy with my life right now? Would I be living like I am if my life expectancy were threatened?

The love in this book shines through…love of family, friends and the wonderful, amazing planet on which we live. Not my usual choice to read and there were times when tears filled my eyes but I’m glad I read this beautiful book.

This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
What a sweet sweet story!!!!!I loved how Paulette’s new book just jumps right into the story and grabs you the reader right along with it.
This is a great story about love, trusting, letting go of fear and how amazing it is when one actually finds that special person they have been looking for.
I personally had a few aha moments.
I thought it was great how Paulette puts the thoughts of the characters into words while they where having a conversation. We all do that: that little voice in our heads talking to us “Do they think I’m fat?, or do they think I’m dumb? or do they like me?
Life is hard. But with an open mind and heart, a positive attitude, kindness and sensitivity and the willingness to be honest life can be GREAT!!!!!
Thank You Paulette for a great story.
Love you El

5.0 out of 5 stars This one comes from a loving place…, September 21, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
A sensitive and wonderfully written story. Paulette’s characters courageously deal with the vicissitudes of life with objectivity and loving that’s truly inspirational.

About The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for "gross indecency" under Britian's recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When the news of Wilde's conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wildes' imprisonment. It is chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing. Paulette Mahurin, the author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs--- Max and Bella. She practices women's health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. All profits from her book are going to animal rescue, Santa Paula Animal Shelter, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA, where she lives. (see links below on Ventura County Star Article & Shelter) To find out more please go the The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on facebook or Amazon or e-mail us at the gavatar addresses. Thank you. (photos: of Paulette, her family, and a reading at The Ojai Art Center, July 2012)
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35 Responses to Reviews for His Name Was Ben

  1. tazzielove says:

    Some really great reviews.

  2. tazzielove says:

    Reblogged this on tazziesplace and commented:
    Reviews for Paulette’s book: His Name Was Ben

  3. YAY! I’m skipping reading the posts about the book until I finish reading it. I can only read in the morning before work. By the way, I’m not having any problem with the format on my kindle. I hope others didn’t either. I’m glad the reviews are coming in and I am going to assume they are great!!! 🙂

    • I’m glad your formatting is okay and that you’re reading the book. I love sharing it with you. It’s probably a good idea not to read some of the reviews, maybe all, as a few have spoilers in them. Sure hope you enjoy the read. 🙂

      • So far I am loving it! 🙂 I love the characters. Well….there’s a mom in there I want to give a good shaking to. But I suspect there are reasons for why she is the way she is. 🙂

      • Well hafta talk about her. Someday. It’s a little autobiographical. Emphasis on little. I’m glad you’re enjoying. That means a lot to me. BTW: it just made #10 in the kindle store best seller list for its category. I posted that to the book’s facebook page. I can feel doggie tails wagging as we speak. That’s what really excites me.

        Thanks again for everything. ❤ 🙂

  4. Those great reviews just “keep on keeping on.” Marvelous. I know that you are very happy about that. I bet the book would make a stellar movie.

    • Thank you so much. It means a lot to me that you take the time to stop by and offer support. I know how busy you must be. This was a very difficult book to write. It’s a hard subject matter but had a very uplifting part, a miracle, that goes along with it. I didn’t know how it would go being that so many don’t like the word “cancer.” I’ve had people say they didn’t want to read a book about that. But it’s really more about life, love, and what it is to find joy in this moment. Kind of how our fur babies exist. I’m very grateful that it’s started off as well as it did. Honestly, it was not expected. Take care and be well. ❤

      • Paulette, I think because you added a dog plus a miracle makes the book more appealing, at least for me it does. Don’t know about other folks but those two things certainly added something for just about everyone.

      • Really good point. And the dog in the book, named Tazzie, is really an homage to my Tazzie, the rottie I had for over 15 years. One of the great loves of my life. And yes, miracles do trump fear of cancer. Great point. Thank you!

  5. Well deserved praise – it is such an amazing book. A tough subject handled so well. You did a brilliant job at it !

    • Thank you so much, Sheri. I’ve learned a lot from reading how you write. You tackle so many difficult things in a light that is graceful, uplifting, and extremely inspirational. It’s a beautiful gift, your words, and you. I’m truly thankful I found you in our wonderful cyber community. ❤

  6. Really great reviews, Paulette. I’m so looking forward to reading your book, but have another one to finsh first. 🙂

  7. Clowie says:

    You’re getting great reviews!

    • Thank you so much. I didn’t know how it would go over. Not an easy subject but some of the cancer patients I’ve worked with have been my most inspirational lessons that linger in my mind, and heart. And for some there are miracles. That’s the best to be around! The best.

      I love you post today!

  8. Misaki says:

    Great to see so many great reviews

  9. Jean-Jacques says:

    Bravo for the continued support…!

  10. jmsabbagh says:

    I enjoyed reading many of the reviews.Have a wonderful thanksgiving.

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