by Dawn O'Porter
Publication Date: November 3, 2022
CAT LADY [n.]
Single, independent, crazy, aloof, on-the-shelf, lives alone . . .
It’s safer for Mia to play the part that people expect. She’s a good wife to her husband Tristan, a doting stepmother, she slips on her suit for work each morning like a new skin.
But beneath the surface, there’s another woman just clawing to get out . . .
When a shocking event shatters the conventional life she’s been so careful to build, Mia is faced with a choice. Does she live for a society that’s all too quick to judge, or does she live for herself?
And if that’s as an independent woman with a cat, then the world better get ready . . .
When am I going to learn about impulse buying? Anyone who knows me knows why I grabbed this book – how could I possibly walk away from a book called the Cat Lady?
I should have. I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but this was the most gratuitously vulgar book I’ve read in memory and I mean gratuitously, graphically vulgar in that way that British writers can excel at and make it sound like that’s just the way everybody talks. I realise everybody grows more conservative as they age, but I’d have found this as over the top offensive 30 years ago as I do now.
I really wanted to DNF it after chapter 3, the first time the author wallows in the vulgarity, but I really hoped it was a one-off thing, the way so many author’s will have that one, obligatory explicit sex scene. In the space between chapter 3 and the next spree of vulgarity there was a compelling and touching story, so I committed myself to the end.
If this book had been written without all the how-disgustingly-explicit-can-I-get; if the author had left all that crap out – this would have possibly been a 4.5, maybe even 5 star read. One that required a box of tissues by one’s side. Because the parts in between are lovely, touching, and so often on-point about how much love and acceptance pets bring to our lives and how important they can become to us.
There’s a character in this book that’s described as a genuinely kind, loving, grieving man who hide his true self behind a wall of angry tattoos that cover his body. This story is exactly that – a genuinely lovely story hidden behind an almost impenetrable wall of graphic vulgarity.