The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
Sometimes you have to leave behind everything you know to find the place you truly belong…
Nana the cat is on a road trip. He is not sure where he’s going or why, but it means that he gets to sit in the front seat of a silver van with his beloved owner, Satoru. Side by side, they cruise around Japan through the changing seasons, visiting Satoru’s old friends. He meets Yoshimine, the brusque and unsentimental farmer for whom cats are just ratters; Sugi and Chikako, the warm-hearted couple who run a pet-friendly B&B; and Kosuke, the mournful husband whose cat-loving wife has just left him. There’s even a very special dog who forces Nana to reassess his disdain for the canine species.
But what is the purpose of this road trip? And why is everyone so interested in Nana? Nana does not know and Satoru won’t say. But when Nana finally works it out, his small heart will break…
I am a cat. As yet, I have no name.
The Travelling Cat Chronicles is like a love letter to cat lovers- just have a box of tissues ready. I was a blubbering mess by the end because this book just spoke to my cat lady soul!
This book was confirmation that I need to read more books written in translation. I have absolutely loved every single translated work that I have read in that last couple years with The Travelling Cat Chronicles being no exception. It is so beautifully written and well-paced. I can not recall the last time I was so charmed by a story. While the cat (Nana) and his guardian (Saturo) were the stars, every single character had depth and added to the story. I loved seeing all the side characters through Nana’s perspective- it was an absolute delight! I now look at my own beloved cat and wonder if she is secretly judging me… she probably is! Arikawa perfectly captures the enigma that is a cat and you can tell that he is a cat person himself.
This is also a book about a road trip with many stops along the way. It was interesting to travelling through Japan alongside these two characters. Seeing the world through both their eyes added a compelling layer to the story. The landscape was described in beautiful detail.
I was truly sad to see this book end. I wanted to live with Saturo and Nana for much longer! There is nothing I would change about this book- it was perfection. I would be absolutely shocked if it does not end up on my ten best books of the year list. Beautiful!
Yes!! While I think that cat lovers would appreciate this story on a different level, I do not believe that you have to be an animal person to become attached to this story. Saturo’s journey alone makes The Travelling Cat Chronicles worth reading.
Reading this book made me realize that I have not read many novels told from the perspective of a cat! Do you have any recommendations?