A young Japanese man has to find a new home for his cat, and travels to several friends to ask them whether they can offer one. That’s the plot. Along the way the reader is treated to the journey as seen through the eyes of the cat, a tough former stray; and to descriptions of how the friendships between the humans began when they were children. We also learn how their lives have turned out in the present.
In the wrong hands this could all be revoltingly twee, with the Cute Cat Factor dialed up to 12 and the characters learning Important Life Lessons. It isn’t. The cat is a cat: unsentimental and frequently very unimpressed with human behavior. The people are people: flawed, decent, happy, confused.
I know that it’s a very overused word, but this is a charming book. And very, very readable.