The Travelling Cat Chronicles. February 25, 2020

Pretty lighthearted pet-centric novel about a guy who adopts a stray cat. The two live happily for years but then it turns out he must give the cat away, so he and the cat go on a road trip to meet some old friends and try to get someone to take care of the cat.

The novel is part third-person narration, part first-person by the cat himself. I have to say the cat-narrated parts didn’t work very well for me. It gives an interesting perspective on how his owner relates to the world, but the fact that the cat is super perceptive and smart took me out of the story quite a few times. My Neighbor Totoro is mentioned at some point in the novel, and it made me wonder if going full Miyazaki wouldn’t have worked better.

I think I’d also prefer something less lighthearted. The novel covers on some of my favorite themes–loss, friendship, loneliness–, but it touches them very lightly. Still, it’s a pretty fun read and occasionally very emotional. I also got a real sense of character from all the different people and places they visit, which is impressive for a relatively short book. ★★½☆☆