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The Cat Sanctuary Paperback – 14 May 2009
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‘Splendidly realised Cornish moorland setting, wellies, ruts, dripping sheep…Gale’s specialist forte being pathos into bathos, tears of desolation leaking into the gravy, but he writes about the difficult emotions with delicacy, perception and a rare ferocious charm’ Guardian
‘“The Cat Sanctuary” is a book with claws. It has a soft surface – a story set in sloping Cornish countryside, touching on love, families and forgiveness, delivered in a gentle, straightforward prose – but from time to time it catches you unawares. Scratch the surface, suggests Gale, and you draw blood’ The Times
‘Gale’s writing is marvellously entertaining, and there is a compelling sense of biting deep into the core of the bitter truth’ Cosmopolitan
‘Like Gale’s previous novels, it’s an elegantly menacing, enjoyable read that starts as it means to go on – dynamically. “The Cat Sanctuary” presents people’s lives and coiled springs, wound tighter and tighter until suddenly they unleash themselves on their nearest and dearest…It’s a deep and moving book; highly recommended’ New Woman
From the Back Cover
Judith and Deborah are sisters driven apart by traumatic events in their childhood, but thrown back together again when Deborah's diplomat husband is accidentally assassinated. Judith's lover, Joanna, the instigator of this awkward reunion, finds that as the sisters' murky past is raked up, so too is her own, and the three women become embroiled in a tangle of passion and recrimination.
"Engrossing…Gale is a charmingly idiosyncratic write who could not write a cliché if he tried."
"Like Gale's previous novels, it's and elegantly menacing, enjoyable read that starts as it means to go on – dynamically. It's a deep and moving book; highly recommended."
"Gale's writing is marvellously entertaining and there is a compelling sense of biting deep into the core of the bitter truth."
"A book with claws."
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As in his other novels there's a supporting cast of eccentric and bizarre characters all of whom are sympathetically and truthfully drawn. Patrick Gale has the ability to make the extraordinary seem usual and the usual extraordinary. His characters live on in the mind well after the final page is turned.
I always enjoy reading Patrick Gale's novels and I picked up this hardback edition (couldn't resist the cat on the cover) from the bookshelf of a relative of mine, expecting a really good read. However, although this book is very well-written and I enjoyed the author's evocative descriptions of the Cornish countryside, I found this particular novel didn't engage my interest as much as other books I have read from Mr Gale. I think this was partly due to the fact that, apart from the elderly Esther (who ran the local cat sanctuary and of whom I would have liked to have learnt more about), I didn't become as involved with the characters or their situations as I would have expected. Also I felt the author took rather too long to reveal the extent of the relationship difficulties between the two sisters and then did not follow through with an adequate discussion of the aftermath of the revelations, and as the other strands of the story along the way didn't really capture my interest, I have to say that I found this a less than entirely satisfying read - I also found a distressing (and, I felt, unneccessary) incident between the local hunt hounds and the cats from the sanctuary quite upsetting, so despite my admiration of Patrick Gale's other novels, this is one that unfortunately didn't really work for me. That said, I can recommend the following from Mr Gale: 'Ease';'Kansas in August';'The Whole Day Through';'A Perfectly Good Man'; and 'Notes From An Exhibition'.
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