Tuesday 4 June 2013

Love saves the day

This is another great audiobook. I finished it yesterday and was a bit sad as it was over. You know that feeling? When a book is so good you can't stop reading/listening and you never want it to end?

The story is told from the perspective of 3 people: Sarah, the mother; Laura, the daughter; and Prudence, the cat. Yup, you read it right: The cat is telling her side of the story. If you like cats then you absolutely have to listen to it (Cris Dukehart does an excellent job projecting Prudence's voice with the right mix of being snooty and likeable - that's totally how cats would talk if they could).
If you are indifferent to cats (=me) then you absolutely have to listen to it as well, since you will like cats a bit more than you did before! (I do now.)

Prudence's story begins when Sarah finds her as a 5-week old kitten in an abandoned construction site in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Sarah sings to the little wet, starving kitten and Prudence decides to adopt Sarah as her human.
They live happily together in a Lower East Side apartment for years, until one day Sarah doesn't come home. Laura, Sarah's daughter comes instead and takes the cat away from the apartment that was her home and takes her to Upper West Side where she has to live from now on. Prudence doesn't understand what happened: Where is Sarah? When is she going to take her back home?

Sarah's love for music brings her as a young woman to Manhattan where she tries to make it as a female DJ. It's the 70s, she lives with her best friend Anise in run-down apartments, going out to clubs and discos, listening to music day and night. Sarah loves it.
At 19 she gets pregnant by a guy who leaves her shortly after.
Once her baby Laura is born, Sarah gives up on her dream of becoming a DJ and opens up a record store.

Laura grows up in that record store. She plays there after school, helps out in the summer, even records a song with her mother. They live in an apartment building where the upstairs neighbours, an elderly couple, take care of Laura when her mother is at the store.
Laura is a happy child. Her best friend lives in the same building, she loves the upstairs neighbours like her own grandparents, adores their cat Honey, knows everybody on the block.

But something bad happened in the past. You, the reader/listener don't know for a long time what it is. Sarah's and Laura's relationship is strained, they rarely see each other, and they both suffer because of it.
What is the terrible thing that happened to them? Will they be able to restore their relationship? How can a cat help?

I was spellbound by the story. Prudence is awesome: so indignant when she isn't put first (of course she gets fed before the humans, not the other way around); so entitled to all things in the apartment (you mean the squishy, comfortable, cat-sized computer keyboard isn't a cat bed just for her? Outrageous). Her derisive remarks about how stupid dogs are are hilarious (and a bit insulting for a dedicated dog lover like me).

What we learn in the end is, like the title says: Love saves the day.


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