Cat Lady: The hot, must-read Richard & Judy Book Club novel for summer 2023 from the Sunday Times bestselling author

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Cat Lady: The hot, must-read Richard & Judy Book Club novel for summer 2023 from the Sunday Times bestselling author

Cat Lady: The hot, must-read Richard & Judy Book Club novel for summer 2023 from the Sunday Times bestselling author

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I’m glad others did enjoy it and get benefit from it but for me this was just too far in what should have been a very heart wrenching story of falling to rock bottom and building yourself back up. Mia is 45, and happily married (separate bedrooms), lives in a nice house (originally bought by her hubby and his first wife), is a great step mum (although the first wife/mother is always popping round); has a great job (she has to micromanage the gormless chief executive) and is in love (with her cat, 'Pigeon') and is pretty much living the ideal conventional life, but is this the life that Mia wants? The ways she views her cat (the shower scene) is kind of what finished me off, oh, and describing the actions of a dog and some peanut butter. Mia is clearly struggling in many aspects of her life – and all of them seem quite compartmentalised – her role as wife and step mother at home (although she doesn’t share a bedroom with her husband, as she prefers to sleep with her cat ‘Pigeon’), her work – where she loathes her ‘boss’ and appears to dislike most of her staff, her relationship with her sister (and non existent relationship with her brother in law), and her attendance at a pet bereavement group – despite Pigeon being alive and well. Nothing much happens in the first half, there’s a bit of awkward social commentary, and Mia reinforces every stereotype about people who love cats.

Dawn's journalism has appeared in multiple publications and she was the monthly columnist for Glamour magazine. I did enjoy the development of some of the characters, especially (colleague designer) and how she fought for what she believed to be right within the company, even if it did feel a little half- hearted at times. I’ll admit I initially found the quips about being a ‘cat lady’ and her intense pet relationship a bit odd, but once her back story starts to be told I completely understood the premise and the MC far better. Dawn O'Porter is a broadcaster, novelist and print journalist who lives in Los Angeles with her husband Chris, cat Lilu and dog Potato.I think the only thing stopping this getting one star is that I flipping love cats and would absolutely lay down my life for mine - I am cat lady, so those segments where she just loves Pigeon so much got their hooks in me hard. I tried to persevere with it and see if it could get any better (or worse) but it just started to make me feel so uncomfortable that I just couldn’t carry on. Sometimes she's way too open - the visit to the GP to get support with her crabs is a stand-out moment.

The only part of the book which was not completely predictable is the work subplot, and what happens to poor Pigeon (sorry for the spoiler alert but again - don’t read this if you love cats. This is a mature top range rom-com, where the "rom" is on the the periphery and the "com" is what this is all about.Writing in first person present, Mia describes every tiny action of her life in minuscule detail - from what she puts into Oliver’s lunchbox, to having a shower, to her and Tristan’s grotesque middle-age sex. Mia hasn't had a great life and she often attends support groups even though she hasn't got the problem that they relate to.

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