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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 didn’t hate the book – and wanted to keep reading to see what happened – but it’s definitely not my favourite Dawn O’Porter book and I guess I had high hopes. 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 could relate to Mia's love for Pigeon and her wish to protect herself from just about every other living being. A delightful dark-ish comedy set around a "my pet has died" grief counselling group and essentially about forming and living one's best-self and not taking on a label that society expects from you.

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. I am a cat lady, I’ve experienced the joy and grief of owning a pet, and l love this authors very unique writing style.Dawn is obsessed with vintage clothing and recently set up her own clothing label, BOB (she also has a bob…) --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

But deep down it’s core is connecting with your pet and other like minded animal lovers,,finding yourself and not caring about what others think or do as long as you are happy. OK so she loves her cat Pigeon more than her husband Tristan, is irritated by most of her colleagues, has no friends, and has to put up with her husband’s awful ex-wife Belinda for the sake of her stepson Oliver - but whose life is perfect? It was really interesting to see how everyone in the group responded differently to losing a pet, from the emotions they experience to the impact that it has had on their life. I enjoyed the fact that the protagonist was an older lady - in her 40s but she wasn't relatable to me in any way, shape, or form.

Then something happens and she makes the decision to finally live life for herself and of course - her cat Pigeon.

Mia is a good wife to husband Tristan, a genuinely loving and caring step-mum to his kids by his last marriage, and very good at her job. Leaving aside some really explicit stuff just thrown in there for shock value (at one point early on I was very worried that this woman was going to sexually abuse her cat), it's a story about a woman who has quite a tough, lonely upbringing who feels like she needs to conform to certain standards.Fresh, funny and for anyone who’s ever felt astray, Cat Lady will help you belong – because a woman always lands on her feet. In contrast to this though, others just outright disturbed me, the main being (creepy babe guy) who had a questionable understanding of what consent was at the best of times and was just straight weird. 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. I have to say I didn’t particularly like any of the characters – so I wasn’t Team Mia – but equally wasn’t Team Anyone Else. Over the course of the book her life spirals in all different ways possible, and you do feel sorry for her as a character.

Sometimes she's way too open - the visit to the GP to get support with her crabs is a stand-out moment.You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. I have loved Dawn’s previous writing – fiction and non fiction – and would consider myself a fan, following her on Instagram and subscribing to her Patreon page. I like to think I’ve got quite a varied sense of humour, and apparently this was “laugh out loud”, and maybe it is to some but hell no, not to me. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average.

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