Saturday 7 March 2020

Book Review: The Guest Cat by Takeshi Hiraide (Contemporary Fiction)

Title: The Guest Cat
Author: Takeshi Hiraide

Publication Date: 2014 (2001)
Contemporary Fiction
Borrowed from the Library


A couple in their thirties live in a small rented cottage in a quiet part of Tokyo. They work at home as freelance writers. They no longer have very much to say to one another.

One day a cat invites itself into their small kitchen. She is a beautiful creature. She leaves, but the next day comes again, and then again and again. New, small joys accompany the cat; the days have more light and colour. Life suddenly seems to have more promise for the husband and wife; they go walking together, talk and share stories of the cat and its little ways, play in the nearby garden. But then something happens that will change everything again.

The Guest Cat was a book I wanted to love more than I did. I certainly didn't hate it, but it didn't captivate me in the way I'd expected and I found myself skim reading here and there. It definitely doesn't have the magic of some of the other Japanese "cat books". It's an easy 1-2 night read for those looking for a quick and light tale to while away a couple of hours, but for me, though I'm glad I read it once, to see what it was like, I would not be interested in rereading or keeping a copy of my shelf. I think it needed 200% more cat, as I found myself uninterested in the the problems of the human characters, most of which were self-inflicted.

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