Last month my book club chose to read The Travelling Cat Chronicles. To be honest, I was a bit surprised that this book was selected. The charming and lovely ladies in the club is not at all interested in Japanese literature. On the contrary, they try to avoid it as much as they can. I, on the other hand, was more than happy to read and discuss a Japanese author. This book is not a great piece of literature, so the ladies from the book club thought that they were right not to consider Japanese literature. I felt like they were at a tremendous loss cause not every Japanese author is a light novelist like Hiro Arikawa!
The Travelling Cat Chronicles tells the story of Satoru and his cat Nana. This remarkable couple embarks on an unusual journey where they find friendship and love. In this long journey, we also go to Satoru’s past and read the events of his childhood and youth. At the surface, this is a book about the love between a man and his cat, but deep down there is more to it. If you ever owned a cat, you would completely understand the relation between this couple. And if you have unresolved issues in your past, you may think about a journey for yourself as well.
I’ve likened the book to a young adult book in places, which I don’t like very much, but I thought that the magic of the subject would, on the other hand, if it wasn’t for it. This is a book that everyone from seven to seventy can read and remember with sweet memories. I would also recommend this book if you want to learn more about Japan and the Japanese culture. Happy reading!
About the book: The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Nana, a cat, is devoted to Satoru, his owner. So when Satoru decides to go on a road trip
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.
Narrated in turns by Nana and by his owner, this funny, uplifting, heartrending story of a cat is nothing if not profoundly human.
About the author: Hiro Arikawa
Hiro Arikawa won the tenth annual Dengeki Novel Prize for new writers for Shio no Machi: Wish on My Precious in 2003, and the book was published the following year. It was praised for its love story between a heroine and hero divided by age and social status, and for its depiction of military structures. Although she is a light novelist, her books from her second work onwards have been published as hardbacks alongside more literary works with Arikawa receiving special treatment in this respect from her publisher, MediaWorks. Shio no Machi was also later would, in hardback. Her 2006 light novel Toshokan Sensō (The Library War) was named as Hon no Zasshi’s number one for entertainment for the first half of 2006, and came fifth in the Honya Taishō for that year, competing against ordinary novels.