Anyone who knows me also knows I am a passionate cat lover so when Ben Cameron at Cameron Publicity asked if I’d like a copy of If Cats Could Talk … Would They Cry? in return for an honest review I couldn’t resist.
If Cats Could Talk … Would They Cry? is available for purchase here.
If Cats Could Talk … Would They Cry?
On the morning of the 17th, after a particularly sleepful night, Julie Galles woke up to find herself transformed into a cat. Still half asleep, she watched a set of ginger and white paws stretch out on the beige duvet cover and felt every inch of her body yearning for a good scratch. She yawned and shook her head, a set of gray whiskers flickering in the corners of her eyes. Overcome by a sudden tedious thought, she took a gander around the room, followed by a relieved exhale on the note that nothing else had changed. Her little studio apartment was the same she had left it the night before…
If Cats Could Talk… Would They Cry? introduces Julie Galles. An introvert in an extrovert’s world, Julie is stuck in a rut – until the day she wakes up as a cat. Can a feline perspective help her to reconnect with humanity?
A modern ‘Metamorphosis’ that speaks to the themes of our time – isolation, identity, and desperation for connection. Magical realism with an off-beat charm.
Beautifully illustrated with playful vignettes by Spanish artist Félix Diaz de Escauriaza.
My Review of If Cats Could Talk… Would They Cry?
I’m not entirely certain how to review If Cats Could Talk… Would They Cry? because I found it a really curious read. I’m not sure if I fully understood all its meanings it , but I found it curiously hypnotic so that I had to read it in one sitting.
On one level Anatoli Scholz has produced an entertaining, straightforward narrative (if that can be said of a story where an adult protagonist becomes a cat over night) set within quite traditional boundaries of time, one day, and place, Paris, that is resolved highly satisfactorily. But saying that is to do an injustice to a novella packed with symbolism, allegory and meaning. I found it fascinating. I also thought the illustrations were wonderful because they convey considerable meaning and emotion in their simplicity.
It is Julie’s transformation into a cat that helps the reader develop a clear picture of what she is like as a person. Her emotional distance from meaningful relationships, her attitude to her father, mother and sister, her habitual workaday life are all very prosaic and familiar and yet there is a poignancy that generates real empathy. She needs this curious metamorphosis to understand herself and those around her. I found this a moving aspect of If Cats Could Talk… Would They Cry?.
I thoroughly enjoyed the feline elements of If Cats Could Talk… Would They Cry? too because, as a passionate cat lover, they felt highly authentic to me. Julie’s heightened senses illustrate just what we frequently miss in our daily lives so that not only is this Julie’s story, but it is one from which we can all learn.
If Cats Could Talk… Would They Cry? is an unusual novella. I suspect my reading has only scratched the surface of its possibilities. The symbolism is intelligent and engaging and I think each reader will bring their own interpretation and understanding. For example, I have no idea if the tunnels of the catacombs were intended to represent rebirth, but that’s what they signified to me. To say too much more about plot and action and my interpretations would spoil the read for others, but it is highly thought provoking.
I found If Cats Could Talk… Would They Cry? intriguing. It won’t suit all readers but I’d strongly recommend reading it for yourself to find the answer to the title!
About Anatoli Scholz
Born in Moscow, Anatoli Scholz was raised and educated all over the western hemisphere, including the US, Germany, and France. When he was growing up his parents received donations from Doctors Without Borders. Now he writes stories about gaps in our societal membrane.