cover image The Travelling Cat Chronicles

The Travelling Cat Chronicles

Hiro Arikawa, trans. from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel. Berkley, $20 (288p) ISBN 978-0-451-49133-6

Nana, a stray cat adopted by 30-something Satoru Miyawaki, narrates this lovely tale by Arikawa (Library Wars) of the travels that the pair take when Satoru must look for a new home for Nana. The stray is a proud, independent hunter who only deigns to be adopted after he is struck by a car and rescued by Satoru. After five years together, Satoru comes to the conclusion that he has to find a new home for Nana and so arranges a series of meetings with friends from his youth—Kosuke from elementary school, Yoshimine from junior high, and Sugi and Chikako from high school and college. Each of his friends is willing to take in Nana, but in the end, none of them proves to be right for the cat. Both enjoy their journey in Satoru’s silver van, which enables Satoru to renew old friendships and allows Nana to meet other pets and observe some of Japan’s beautiful scenery, including Mt. Fuji and the northern island of Hokkaido. Readers will perhaps pick up on the reason that Satoru must find Nana a new home before the cat does, but Arikawa is very subtle with this plotline. This touching novel of a brave cat and his gentle, wise human will resonate with lovers of animal tales, quiet stories of friendship, and travelogues alike. [em](Oct.) [/em]