This is part of my Summer Reads series where I’ll be reviewing a series of “not just cookbooks”.
Yep, it’s another book about cats this week! But so much more than that.
From the publisher:
A book that “speak[s] volumes about our need for connection—human, feline or otherwise” (The San Francisco Chronicle), The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a life-affirming anthem to kindness and self-sacrifice that shows how the smallest things can provide the greatest joy—the perfect gift for cat lovers and travellers!
We take journeys to explore exotic new places and to return to the comforts of home, to visit old acquaintances and to make new friends. But the most important journey is the one that shows us how to follow our hearts…
An instant international bestseller and indie bestseller, The Travelling Cat Chronicles has charmed readers around the world. With simple yet descriptive prose, this novel gives voice to Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru, as they take to the road on a journey with no other purpose than to visit three of Satoru’s longtime friends. Or so Nana is led to believe…
With his crooked tail—a sign of good fortune—and adventurous spirit, Nana is the perfect companion for the man who took him in as a stray. And as they travel in a silver van across Japan, with its ever-changing scenery and seasons, they will learn the true meaning of courage and gratitude, of loyalty and love.
“At times comic, at times poignant, their trip is one this reader will remember with fondness for a long, long time.”—Philip Gabriel, translator of the English edition of The Travelling Cat Chronicles
This was one of the loveliest books I have read in a very long time – it’s a perfect summer read because it’s about a voyage – you actually feel like you’re on a trip with Nana the cat and Satoru – but also because of the way it’s written – it’s lyrical and whimsical and quite delightful – it will put you in a wonderful, peaceful, relaxed frame of mind as you work your way through it. It will make you laugh and cry in the way a really good read will.
Roughly half the book is narrated by Nana, the cat, and if you’ve ever owned and loved a pet you will completely be taken by his subtle humour and utter cat logic. In theory, he’s a rescued cat but in the end, we see that it’s Satoru who needs company and rescuing, in fact. Nana starts out the story as a stray who hangs around Satoru’s apartment building – he ends up feeding him but when Nana is hit by a car, he puts himself in a place he knows Satoru will find and help him. After that he becomes Satoru’s “indoor” cat and they live together quite happily for five years. Satoru proves himself to be a true “cat person” and they are just the most perfect match.
The book’s main story is a road trip across Japan which the pair take together. We’re not told why all of a sudden Satoru is needing to rehome Nana but thy embark on the cross-country road trip where he visits a number of childhood friends. No one person is a good fit for Nana (he has a hand in some of these reasons) but through the stories and memories, we learn a lot about Satoru’s childhood and life. And in the end, we finally find out the reason for the road trip.
Ultimately, this is a beautifully-written story about life, loss, happiness, friendship and loyalty. Keep a box of tissues handy for the last 50 or so pages… Highly recommended.
Please note: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post also contains affiliate links from The Book Depository. This means that if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you). Thank you in advance!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. I have not been compensated for writing this post. All opinions are my own.
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