RELEASED: November 1, 2012
GOODREADS RATING: 4.29
TRIGGERS: Cancer, death of loved one, short paragraph about abandoned baby, death of parents
Nana, a cat, is devoted to Satoru, his owner. So when Satoru decides to go on a roadtrip one day to find him a new home, Nana is perplexed. They visit Satoru’s old friends from his school days and early youth. His friends may have untidy emotional lives but they are all animal lovers, and they also wonder why Satoru is trying to give his beloved cat away. Until the day Nana suddenly understands a long-held secret about his much-loved owner, and his heart begins to break.
I was introduced to this novel thanks to Noriko’s review – so shout out to all those fellow bloggers who make us add to our TBR’s! I bought myself a copy pretty quickly but only ended up reading it recently. Do I wish I read it sooner? Maybe. Am I ridiculously happy I ended up reading it? Find out! But be warned if you decide to pick this one up because it hit me in the feels. Hard.
And that might immediately be proof of how much I loved The Travelling Cat Chronicles. Even though I read a translation of the original, I still have to say the writing is mind-blowing. As such.. Huge applause to the translator because that couldn’t have been an easy feat! It actually felt like it was written in English originally and that’s something I admire. Especially since my experience with reading Dutch books translated from English is.. far from pleasant for some reason.
The story.. Boy.. The only goal you know of at first, is how Satoru is trying to find a new, fitting home for his much-beloved cat, Nana. Putting that much effort in finding a new servant / home for a pet grabbed my attention in the best way.
As they visit old friends, you notice there’s a very specific reason for his search and.. from then on it’s heart-breaking. You know you’ll end up suffering because of the book but you don’t care. It’s just that beautiful. The journey, the story, the way it’s told.. You can’t put it down even though it’ll break you.
And who knew a sassy cat would be the reason for it too.. I certainly didn’t. Nana stole my heart, easily. His sass, his obvious love for his master and the way he tells and explains things from his own perspective.. It had me laughing and crying.
Mixed with his POV, you also get the POV of Satoru himself and the people he’s visiting. They’re all telling the story of how they met, how their relationships grew, what events brought them together. It honestly is amazing to see how small decisions can still leave its mark years later.
And not only decisions can do that, so can books. The Travelling Cat Chronicles is definitely one I’ll remember for some time to come. Once in a while, I crave an emotional punch – specifically one given by an amazing story – and that’s exactly what this book gave me. A hard, well-aimed kick in the feels. I cried so hard, and I’m glad I was all alone or the boyfriend would have laughed with me. He really doesn’t get how books can have such an emotional impact, stupid him.
If you have to consider what’s going to happen after you die, life becomes doubly troublesome.
I can hardly give less than five cupcakes. This story was so much bigger and had much more of an impact than I anticipated. I love it for that. I also love the unique POV of a cat – a sassy one at that. Definitely worthy of five yummie cupcakes!
What are some books or authors succeeding at giving well-aimed kicks in the feels?
Do you like reading books that end up with you crying? Or not?