When CatOnMyHead mentioned that this novel was narrated from the cat’s perspective, I knew I was going to end up reading it sooner or later. Boo, the cat in question, has always thought of the mother of the family has her person while the two teenagers, father and new baby were simply extras, or in the worst cases, competition for Mother’s attention. As a result, the cat is at a loss when Mother disappears. Since Boo can’t ask, and the humans are not talking to each other about Mother, it takes her a few days to even determine that Mother is not dead, but instead has left, maybe to get rest and finally get better. Boo saw her human dealing with depression after all, barely leaving the bed before the baby came and not getting better after the baby, either.
As the novel progresses, Boo starts to reevaluate the people in her family and her place in the family. While always a staunch defender of Mother, Boo also starts to wonder about her perspective and starts to realize how other humans might have viewed situations. While Boo spends the first part of the novel very much talking about the present, it is only later that Boo shares many of her memories and allows her new perspectives to color those memories.
The novel does not try to take any easy answers, and Boo isn’t the only one lacking vital information at various points of the novel. Just when Boo (and the reader) starts thinking they understand what is going on, a new detail switches the narratives, turning heroes to villains to victims and back again. For the most part, there are no obvious good and bad guys, just a family of flawed individuals that deeply care for each other even if they don’t know always how to best help each other.
While this is a rather short review, it is mostly because I don’t want to give too much away, but it is absolutely worth the read. Rather surprising how humanizing a novel from the cat’s point of view could be.