The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide from Picador Books was a bookseller favourite and a surprise bestseller at the end of 2014. I'm late to party but here we go...
The Guest Cat tells the story of a couple in their thirties living in a rented cottage on the grounds of a large estate in Tokyo. They rent the property from a elderly couple who live in the large house and their other neighbours are a family with a young boy who also live within the estate grounds.
There are a number of cats who prowl the large gardens but the couple take to none of them until the family next door get Chibi. Or should I say a cat never took to them?
The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide is a slim 144 pages and I could probably describe and spoiler the entire book in about three sentences. What I'll never be able to do is tell such a simple tale of falling for a feline with the beauty and poetry that Takashi does. No, not a lot happens and the concept may sound simple but it's the stunning way that he describes this delicate relationship that makes it such a gem. Takashi's romantic descriptions of his home and the surrounding Tokyo are also so lovely that he makes them as vivid as the main characters, playing a large part in why this book is so heart-warming .
The Guest Cat is unlike anything I've read before, it's romantic and poetic prose makes for almost meditative reading. This is perfect escapism from the hubbub of daily life.
Buy your copy of The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide from Amazon here.