Book Review: The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

travellingcatchroniclesSometimes 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…

Welcome to my first book review of 2020! I intend to up my reading game this year, so hopefully I’ll have a few more reviews this year than I have had in the last while…

This book broke my heart, ladies and gentlemen. It was one of those books where I probably shouldn’t have read it when I did… I started reading it back in November, and then life just got in the way and I put it down. Then in December, a few days before Christmas, my dog Bing passed away unexpectedly. So when I picked this back up last week to finish it off, its safe to say my emotions were very raw.

The book is told from the perspective of Nana the cat, and how he is found by the human Satoru, and how he takes him in after finding him injured, making sure he gets better and feeding him his crunchies. It is a very innocent story, and seeing everything from a cat’s perspective really makes you think about how we as humans act, and how we interact with animals, and what they think of us.

Every second chapter in the book is a flashback/prequel to the upcoming chapter, and looks back at Satoru’s childhood. Each of these chapters gives us insight into the people we’re going to meet in the following chapter so we can get a better perspective of why we’re there and what’s happening/going to happen.

I love that we’re not immediately told why we’re going on this little adventure with Nana and Satoru–we’re very much left to our own imaginations as to why Satoru is visiting all these old friends and asking if they would take Nana into their home.

The last twenty pages really got me though. It was like a penny dropped, and all of a sudden knew why, and it really is heartbreaking, because as you’re reading, it is still through little Nana’s perspective and he can’t understand why… just have some tissues ready…

Overall The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a beautiful read, and I 100% recommend it for any animal lover! (maybe just don’t read it too close to having lost one… )


Have you read this book before? I’d love to know you’re thoughts, and if you haven’t read it yet, would you be interested in reading? Let’s chat in the comments 🙂

My name is Dean Kealy and I am freelance writer/content creator from Ireland.

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