The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa


The Travelling Cat ChroniclesTitle: The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Author: Hiro Arikawa
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Doubleday
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: That reminds me of Chatran.

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It’s not the journey that counts, but who is at your side.

Nana is on a road trip, but he is not sure where to. All that matters is that he can sit beside his beloved Satoru in the front of his silver van. Satoru is keen to visit three old friends from his youth, though Nana doesn’t know why and Satoru won’t say.

Set against the backdrop of Japan’s changing seasons and narrated with a rare gentleness and striking humour, Nana’s story explores the wonder and thrill of life’s unexpected detours. It is about friendship, solitdue, and knowing when to give and when to take. Above all, it shows how acts of love, both great and small, can transform our lives.


I cried. Like a baby. And I knew the ending was coming. It was fairly easy to guess from the beginning – but it was still heartbreaking. And sweet. And endearing. And really one of the very best stories that I’ve read in a long, long, long time.

Set against a beautiful backdrop with the most amazing narrator’s voice, this story is just amazing. I actually can’t find the words to describe this. Nana (the cat) starts the story with the beginning of his relationship with Satoru. From there, as they travel the countryside to visit old friends, parts of Satoru’s life come flashing back. It creates this beautiful multi-layered world in which it is incredibly easy to get lost.

The beauty and innocence of Satoru and his past make you feel incredibly warmed. It’s a reminder that not every story needs a romantic tale, but that platonic and familial love is just as important. It helps to remind you that a good story (whether on paper or in real life) just needs a little bit of kindness and care to make it soar on wings of beauty.

For an impulse buy that I “accidentally” clicked the buy me button on, this was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. It’s rare that a story can truly make me cry and weep like this one did. There is something about the love that jumps from the pages that really helps to bring this amazing tale home to the heart.

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Image source: Penguin Books Australia

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