This book was recommended to me by book blogger Faroukh @theguywiththebook. I wanted to switch it up a bit after reading a lot of fantasy this last year and I was pleasantly surprised. This book was originally written in Japanese and translated into English.
“Dogs the world over just aren’t very level-headed about things. Their master says jump and they ask, ‘How high?’ With cats, though, the master can throw a tantrum but cats don’t necessarily jump. Cats always follow their own path.”
The Plot and the Characters
The story follows a young Japanese man named Satoru on a road trip with his beloved cat, Nana, as they travel Japan visiting Satoru’s old friends. The purpose for this trip is to see if one of his friends is willing to take in his cat now that Satoru can no longer care for him.
With each visit on Satoru’s road trip we get an anecdote from Satoru’s past and through them we get a glimpse into the kind of person he is. From how he got his first cat, Hachi, to the loss of his parents and taking in a stray cat he later names Nana, the anecdotes range from endearing to humorously quirky. To me, the road trip itself symbolized a journey in which old memories are brought up and new ones are made and by the end of the book I was looking back on the trip which took on a whole new meaning to me. Nana’s quote about cat’s following their own path resonates at the end of the book where he does what he thinks is right without regards to how he might inconvenience others.
“Human beings are basically huge monkeys that walk upright but they can be pretty full of themselves. They leave their cars exposed to the elements, but a few pawprints on the paintwork and they go ballistic.”
While I am not a cat lover, I can see why this book has appealed to a lot of readers. Themes like the passage of time, family and life as a journey are central to this book and after I finished reading it I was left with a twinge of nostalgia and doing some self-reflection of my own. I don’t want to say too much to avoid spoilers but if you’re a pet lover in general or just someone who, like me, reflects heavily on these kinds of themes when they’re brought up, then this is the read for you.
Oh! and the last sentence of this book is pure gold! I avoided sharing so as to avoid potential spoilers as to what might happen in the book. 😉
5 out of 5 mortars
I’m off to New York for the weekend. Check out my Instagram if you want to keep up with my trip. I will squeeze in as much book related stops as I can in between the usual tourist ones. Any recommendations are welcome. Happy reading.