The Guest Cat, T. Hiraide (ed. Picador)
Page number: 136
Release date: September 2014
Themes: Japanese literature – Japan – Novels – Autobiography – Friendship
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.
I bought this book when I was browsing at the bookshop, and I do not know why but it directly enthrals me.
Even if, there are many chapters they are short so it is easy to read this book during a short journey. When you are not used to this type of writing, it can be difficult to stay focus on the book, especially when you listen to music at the same time. The best way it is to listen to soft music, and you understand more the book and see that it is not a boring book even if there is no action.
This book is typical of the Japanese literature. Indeed you have plenty descriptions; it can be from the environment or the relationship between humans or with the cat. The former is described as a drawing of Hokusai and the latter, in particular for the cat, show the evolution of the relationship faced to the life events. With all these descriptions we can clearly understand the feelings of the author even if he does not write it because in Japan you cannot really express your feelings. It helps to understand the character and his problem, but also we are more attached to them.
Conclusion: A beautiful and quiet book that tells the story of the evolution of relationship to reading during a trip but if you want action do not buy it.