kay, backstory – while visiting Japan, I saw a movie poster with a shot of a cat that looked exactly like my late Mookie. Stunned me. Looking further into it, I discovered the book the movie was based on, The Travelling Cat Chronicles. Part of me will continue my search for the flick. But part of me will finish the review of the wonderful book it uncovered.
The novel follows a strange and interesting journey of Nana the cat and his companion (not owner – it’s not that sort of relationship) Satoru the human. Satoru, it seems, had found Nana the stray after he’d been hit by a car. Satoru, a very good-natured soul, veterinarianed and nursed Nana back to health and Nana, finding Satoru’s house warm and his crunchies good, decided to stay. And they have lived a life of contentment and companionship for six years.
And now, for reasons ungiven, Satoru needs to place Nana in a new home. And since Nana is his friend, he wants to make sure of the accommodations. In that, he loads Nana into a carrier that Nana can get out of any old time (and doesn’t, of course, let on), starts up his van and travels about Japan, calling on old childhood friends. Perhaps one of them can find a place for the haughty Nana.
Each of these visits is a look into Satoru’s past, a study on the relationship he’d formed with these people. We come off liking Satoru even more. And in his friends, we see their own loves, hopes, fears and weaknesses. In each case, something goes wrong and Nana cannot find a home. But the trip is wonderful, the scenery beautiful, and the world (through Nana’s eyes) extraordinary.
And, like A Man Called Ove, this one is going to make you cry.
Yes, so I really loved it, so much that all those books I’m looking at for 2019 are going to have to be damned good to beat it out for the Best of Five at years end. Let’s hope for some good competition, right?
This one is most certainly recommended.