Today I am on the blog tour for Cat Lady (Published 27th October 2022) By Dawn O’Porter. A big thank you to the publishers HarperCollins for sending me a copy to read and review, always appreciated. Also to the lovely Anne for the invite, you make being a part of this community wonderful.
SINGLE – INDEPENDENT – ALOOF – CUNNING – AGILE – CANNOT BE TAMED
We’ve all known a cat lady – and we’ve probably all judged her too. But behind the label – the one that only sticks to women – what if there’s a story worth nine lives? Told with Dawn’s trademark warmth, wit and irreverence, CAT LADY is a story about defying labels and forging friendships. It’s for the cat lady in all of us – because a woman always lands on her feet . . .
About The Author
DAWN O’PORTER lives in Los Angeles with her husband Chris, her two boys Art and Valentine, cats Myrtle and Boo.
Dawn is the bestselling author of the novels The Cows and the Richard and Judy Book Club pick So Lucky, and her non-fiction title Life in Pieces was also a Sunday Times bestseller.
Dawn started out in TV production but quickly landed in front of the camera, making numerous documentaries that included immersive investigations of Polygamy, Size Zero, Childbirth, Free Love, Breast Cancer and the movie Dirty Dancing.
Dawn’s journalism has appeared in multiple publications and she was the monthly columnist for Glamour magazine. She is now a full-time writer of eight books, designs dresses for Joanie Clothing, LOVES instagram, and has a large following on her Patreon blog.
Narrated in first person the story follows Mia who finds it safer to play the part of loving wife to Tristan, devoted stepmother to Oliver and high-driven career woman as MD at Isabella May jewellery. She dresses the part and brings order and routine to her life. Mia goes above and beyond to make sure her husband is happy. She will host a dinner party for his friends who don’t particularly care for her and want Tristan to still be married to his ex-wife Belinda who cheated on him. But she tries because she knows it makes Tristan happy. She even cooks meat for them when she is a vegan and has to put up with their rude, obnoxious comments about her lifestyle choice. Mia is used to being the odd one out but does her best at finding ways to fit in. She loves her step-son Oliver and has a strong bond with him. She will hide treats in his lunchbox as a little reminder that she loves him because saying it makes him uncomfortable. Belinda despises Mia and enjoys putting her down at every possible opportunity, dismissing her role as a step-mother. Mia is determined to not be the villain and has to grin and bear the torment. She wants the best for Oliver and so keeps the peace with Belinda by not saying anything and letting her waltz in and out of her home as she pleases.
Things appear to be going well for Mia, she has a loving husband, a lovely home and her work has an exciting pitch coming up at Selfridges. However on the day of the pitch Mia discovers something disturbing that changes everything. She is instantly thrown into the lion’s den and forced to claw her way out. Her life is ripped to shreds right in front of her. O’Porter gets you hooked from the moment you start reading, the story, the characters, the humour, it’s all brilliantly written. I lapped up every second, I wanted more.
The relationship Mia has with her husband looks perfect and loving on the outside yet when you look closer it lacks intimacy and passion. Tristan enjoys her sense of humour as his ex-wife doesn’t have one and she loves it when he laughs at the things she says. They still have sex but there is a set of rules they have to follow, Tristan instructs her on what to do and she does it. They also sleep in separate bedrooms because of Pigeon, Tristan thinks sleeping with animals is unhygienic. Pigeon is everything to Mia, her baby, and takes the responsibility of owning a cat seriously. Mia prefers to have her own room, her own space with Pigeon. She hates the idea of giving it up because Tristan wants to wake up next to his wife, he doesn’t just want her sexually but craves the affection that she shows towards Pigeon.
Pigeon is exceptional to Mia. She found her when she was a kitten, Pigeon saved her in the darkest moment of her life. She doesn’t know how her life would continue if anything was to happen to her. When people learn Mia has a cat she automatically becomes cat lady which is an insult as no one means it as a compliment. When you are called a cat lady people are saying you are lonely and isolated. Mia goes out of her way to make Pigeon’s life as exciting as she can. One of the things she loves about cats is the way they rely on routine, they eat, sleep, do everything together. Mia loves routine and struggles when things are out of her control. When chaos rears its ugly head she spirals and things become dark. Mia comes from disorder, chaos. Her mother passed away when she was young and her father scared her. He would drink and show no interest in his daughters.
Mia doesn’t have many friends, more coworkers and acquaintances. She speaks to her sister Liz occasionally, they were a lot closer when they were younger but drifted apart as they grew older. I often felt sad at the loneliness and isolation that surrounds Mia. I could understand and see why her cat is everything to her.
Mia takes her job at Isabella May jewellery extremely seriously. She dresses how she thinks an MD of a business should dress, smart, serious and together. It’s a role she has become accustomed to playing. She keeps to herself at work as she doesn’t see it as a place to grab attention, only to be good at her job. She has to have routine and organisation in her life and often judges her coworkers arrival times. She doesn’t understand why they arrive late or have breakfast at home before coming to work.
Mia finds herself attending a pet bereavement group at a Methodist Church. She has attended other groups in the past, AA and eating disorders but has never found her place. She feels guilty for attending as her cat is still alive but senses that this is a safe space to express yourself. Animals give you a special kind of love and a loyalty that knows no bounds. Mia feels welcomed by the group facilitator Tiana and the other members that attend. Mia loves being around pet lovers as they understand. They connect more to their furry friends, they bring them joy more than humans do. She feels good to be in a group that makes her feel better. Mia feels more herself in a room full of strangers than anywhere else. Slowly she starts to open up and starts talking about her husband, she isn’t sure that he gets her or understands the things that have made her who she really is. She loves him but does’t feel herself with him and wonders if cat lady suits her better. She worries she has to be someone else to keep her marriage going.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the journey that Mia went on. She went from having everything to nothing. Her character development was fascinating to read, to learn and understand why she is the way she is. I wanted her to succeed in her job, with friends, in love. I was hanging on every last word in the hopes that she would come out of this on top.
I give Cat Lady By Dawn O’Porter a Five out of Five paw rating
Purrrfectly empowering! I had tears in my eyes from laughing and crying throughout this book. I highly recommend dear reader, you will become addicted! There is no such thing as just a cat.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
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