Thursday, July 23, 2009

Review: Homer’s Odyssey (Cat Style)


Gwen Cooper was a 24-year-old single woman living in Miami with her two cats when her veterinarian called with a proposition for Gwen to adopt cat number three—a two-week-old blind kitten. And not only was he blind, he had no eyes at all. 

Now, nothing will put you in the HOV lane towards bonafide “cat lady” faster than living alone with three cats, but Gwen decided to take a chance anyway.

And so we meet Homer—a cat with a heart full of love and a boundless quest for adventure, despite his lack of vision. Homer’s Odyssey is part biography (of Homer), part memoir (of Gwen), and the result is a heartfelt story of a special cat that teaches his owner more than she expected. Like, how to move forward enthusiastically, even when you don’t know what lies ahead; how to make the best of what you’ve been dealt; how to take a chance on someone because your life may be better with him/her in it than without.
Homer’s Odyssey is comprised of anecdotes and reflections on how Homer affected Gwen’s life, which makes the pace of the novel move quickly and keeps one’s attention by using shorter spurts of storytelling. We read of Homer’s heroism as he scares an intruder out of Gwen’s apartment in the middle of the night, his adjustment to a new space once Gwen moves to New York City, and the panic and emotion September 11th forced people from their homes with the pets left behind. The last couple of chapters were the most enjoyable for me to read, as Gwen described the adjustment she and her cats made as they moved in with her boyfriend (and soon-to-be husband), Laurence.
At certain points in this book, I chuckled at how close to “cat lady” Gwen had gotten herself. She gave in to their every whim! Even though I love my two monster cats, I don’t think I would ever let them determine my living situation as Gwen did (though I have been trying to get them to sleep peacefully with me as Homer did, rather than paw at my face and crawl on me all night. No such luck, so far).  
Overall, the author was able to perfectly describe the personalities of each of her cats and create an inspiring story that teaches us how to have faith in ourselves, explore the unknown, and enjoy the little things. Homer’s Odyssey was very enjoyable for a quick, easy read. 
Many thanks to Random House for providing me with this advanced copy.
Delacorte Press (Random House)
304 Pages, Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-385-34385-5


Salvatore said…

One of the book club editors (from Direct Brands) was pitching this book to me at a lunch I had with her. Glad I now know what she was talking about. Apparently the original jacket was not as friendly.

Kari said…

I have the ARC and the cover is a bit different. The image of the cat is still the same, but the background was just purple blur instead of the city view.