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Bono – The Amazing Story of a Rescue Cat Who Inspired a Community

A homeless cat and Helen meet at crossroads in their lives in New York City.

Available in North America, Australia and New Zealand. To be published in Russian and Chinese (short form).

To celebrate Bono’s translation into Chinese, here’s our story in pictures (apologies for the blurry shots, but it was a busy time).


In her NY Times bestseller debut, Brown wrote of Cleo, the kitten that helped her heal, after son Sam, nine, was run over and killed in 1983. Bono, “a shaved black mini lion”, is the cat with special needs (chronic kidney disease), homeless after Hurricane Sandy, which her US publisher insists she foster. Brown was finding life full of ennui, after a brush with breast cancer – “my speed date with death” – made her want to live life. Husband Philip’s lunchtime purchase of flannelette pyjamas “mutated him into her father”, and was (an amusing) reason, among others, to flee “contentment”. The description of the pyjama shop assistant and why straight men should never shop: “Blonde, 25… (he) helpless as a terrier in front of a plate of steak.” An astute observer: if this was a novel she would have an affair with a French lavender farmer. Instead, Buddhist nun daughter Lydia, 28, accompanies her to NYC for her book launch and an open-ended stay. Bono will bond a fractured mother-daughter relationship, and even purr passion into plaid.
Australian Women’s Weekly

“Comical, affecting, honest and acidic enough to delight anyone who’s got a beating heart – even those who don’t like cats. Bound to be a best seller. ”
Jenny Wheeler, North & South magazine.

“This engaging story exemplifies the power of a shelter cat to change lives and even rekindle lost connections. Bono teaches us how to live.”
Hal Abrams, host of Animal Radio, the most listened to animal show in America.

“A warm, poignant tale about the sheer force of a cat’s personality and the joy and healing it can bring.”
Australian Women’s Weekly.

“This wonderfully heartwarming recounting of love, hope, and selflessness is all about new beginnings, perfect for anyone seeking inspiration or a fresh start!”
Connie Wilson, Connie’s Book Club

“Helen weaves warmth, truth and honesty into every stroke of the keyboard. Powerful sentences compile themselves into neighbourhoods we all want to live in, until we realise that in some comparable way, we already do.”
Cindy Code, assistant store manager, Indigo Books, Brockville, Canada.

WATCH: Helen Brown Interview on Studio 10 – Bono.

Bono by Helen Brown

Bono – The Rescue Cat Who Helped Me Find My Way Home. (AU/NZ cover)


Beautiful bridesmaid Kath.


There’s something about red rocks.


Sometimes all it takes is a coat of paint. Thanks to Lynda Newton for the inspiration, and to nextpainting for the execution.


A gloriously happy day.


Getting ready for a very special day.


The setting for Lydia and Ramon’s wedding on Saturday.


When a psychic gives readings a Hen’s Party.


Dr Lydia Brown gives an inspiring talk to a sellout audience at Melbourne Uni on the health benefits of self compassion.


Today we lost Mary Oliver, one of the world’s great poets. This book has just arrived on my doorstep. Her spirit is everywhere.


One cannot get enough beauty sleep.

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