The Cat

The Cat

4.5 2
by Edeet Ravel
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

SINGLE MOTHER ELISE IS completely devoted to her eleven-year-old son; he is her whole world. But that world is destroyed in one terrifying moment when her son is killed in a car accident just outside their home. Suddenly alone, surrounded by memories, Elise faces a future that feels unspeakably bleak—and pointless.

Lost, angry, and desolate, Elise

See more details below

Overview

SINGLE MOTHER ELISE IS completely devoted to her eleven-year-old son; he is her whole world. But that world is destroyed in one terrifying moment when her son is killed in a car accident just outside their home. Suddenly alone, surrounded by memories, Elise faces a future that feels unspeakably bleak—and pointless.

Lost, angry, and desolate, Elise rejects everyone who tries to reach out to her. But as despair threatens to engulf her, she realizes, to her horror, that she cannot join her son: She must take care of his beloved cat. At first she attempts to carry out this task entirely by herself, shut away from a frightening new reality that seems surreal and incomprehensible. But isolation proves to be impossible, and before long others insinuate themselves into her life—friends, enemies, colleagues, neighbors, a former lover—bringing with them the fragile beginnings of survival.

Powerfully moving and deeply humane, The Cat is an unforgettable novel about the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ravel (The Last Rain) delivers a heartbreaking novel that centers on Elsie, a single-mother paralyzed by grief after her 11-year-old son dies. While her life once revolved around her son, after his death she finds herself struggling to survive on "this alien planet... planet without my son." Ravel's measured prose spares us no detail of Elsie's despair and hopelessness, exposing the confusion, anger and disbelief that come with loss. It's her cat Pursie who forces her to carry on. Although she feels "shipwrecked" in her isolation, refusing to leave the house and rejecting all who reach out to her, Elsie rises each day only to care for the cat her son loved. Her loss forces her to confront the abandonment she's faced in the past—from her withholding mother, a former lover, and the father of her son. As her commitment to solitude begins to wane, Elsie finds the strength to reach out to others and deal with the unresolved relationship of her past. Ravel's frank depiction of grief is stunning in both its silent moments of desperation and the glimpses of hope offered for the future. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Ravel (The Saver) returns with the story of Elise, who is born with a purplish birthmark covering one side of her face. She feels unloved and is largely friendless for most of her early life until a brief affair with a fellow art student produces a son who accepts her unequivocally and whom she loves with abandon. Apart from his school friends and their adored cat, Pursie, mother and son live in contented isolation until one day a sleepy driver runs off the road near their home, killing the 11-year-old boy. With so few friends and family, the only thing keeping Elise tethered to the world is caring for and feeding Pursie. In grief's grip she begins searching for a few old friends and lovers whom she might persuade to take over caring for Pursie, allowing her to depart the world without guilt. VERDICT Elise is a hard character for the reader to connect to. A ray of hope finally appears when Elise's tentative contact with the outside world begins to thaw her cold, cold heart. This is a slighter work from Ravel, a borderline purchase. [See Prepub Alert, 10/15/12.]—Barbara Love, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ontario

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143186458
Publisher:
Penguin Canada
Publication date:
03/26/2013
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“In her evocation of grief, and the terrible loneliness of grief that is unfathomable to those who stand at a little distance from it, Edeet Ravel is utterly, heartbreakingly convincing.”
—Joyce Carol Oates

“Bold and gutsy, yet sensitive and humane, Edeet Ravel’s The Cat takes the reader on a heart-rending journey from a place of unfathomable loss to a re-emergence of hope and faith.”
—Ania Szado, author of Studio Saint-Ex

"...once I began turning pages, I could hardly put it down. The novel is a precisely realized character study that amounts to an excruciating portrait of maternal grief."
The National Post

Praise for Ten Thousand Lovers:
"Deeply moving...Lily's narrative alternates between memoir and linguistic meditations on ancient and modern Hebrew. It is in these passages, conveyed in a quiet and almost lyrical voice, that the full tragic dimension of Israel's character emerges."
The New York Times

"This is a brave and beautiful book. It is a heartbreaking book. It could have been called Ten Thousand Dreams, or Ten Thousand Hopes, but Ten Thousand Lovers is best, for this book is at heart a love story. Read it for that, for the pure pleasure of it. But read it also to understand why love—even transcendent love—is sometimes not enough."
The Globe and Mail

"Ravel weaves a rich tapestry of love… her knowledge of history and language infuses the book with veracity and vividness."
The Chronicle Herald

"A shrewd and compassionate storyteller."
Sunday Herald

"[Ravel] blends the personal and political so well that our understanding of each dimension is enlarged … Ravel's characterizations are nuanced, and sidestep stereotypes... The dialogue is crisp, the plot compelling, and the glimpses of the ongoing war are powerful."
The Globe and Mail

"Ravel moves effortlessly from the larger to the smaller picture, bringing us a fascinating perspective of someone living the politics of one of the world's most notorious hot spots amidst a daily life of much personal eccentricity."
Quill & Quire

Praise for A Wall of Light:
"A thoughtful and heartfelt novelistic meditation on Israel's past and present...like the great Israeli novelist Amos Oz, Ravel employs the contemporary family unit as the ideal metaphor for the Jewish state... Ravel is impressive for her willingness to say in unadorned language what she so powerfully feels."
The Globe and Mail

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >