Book Review: Cat Step by Alison Irvine

Which of you like a quiet novel? I have something you will enjoy today.

Goodreads Blurb

Cat Step by Alison Irvine

One mistake can unravel everything….

She only left her daughter in the car for a minute; just a quick minute whilst she ran into the shop. She barely thought twice about making the decision, but it soon began to consume her every thought. And not just her thoughts, but those of every neighbour, police officer and social security worker in a 15-mile radius. But this is her child. Surely she knows best?

After she’d made the move to a small town in Scotland, the rolling hills and blustery beaches seemed to be the perfect backdrop for her and her four-year-old daughter, Emily, to start again. It wasn’t always easy just the two of them, but Liz was sure that she could manage this time. And now this?

Sometimes, one mistake is all it takes to unravel everything. Cat Step is a lyrically sparse tale about judgement, intergenerational relationships, community, class and the expectations that we place on mothers. With sharp prose Alison Irvine has crafted a compassionate narrative that compels you to listen on.

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Review

This was a deeply enthralling book without the hustle and bustle of your typical drama. As the blurb states, it only takes one mistake to unravel everything. The reader is faced with this mistake right at the beginning of the book. The joy of turning each page stems from the need to know how everything turns out in the end.

I can’t say that I loved Liz as a character but I became invested enough that I wanted to know her story. Although the book mentions that Liz takes antidepressants just once, I really felt that Cat Step is ultimately the story of a woman trying to overcome a heavy burden and make the most of what life has left her. I actually would have liked the author to go more into Liz’s mental health as that is a topic of interest to me, but it was not something that was gapingly missing from the story, if that makes sense.

In fact, when I think about it, I quite liked how the author lets the reader make up their own mind about things: Liz’s mental health, her relationship with her daughter, her reason for being in Scotland. There was no commentary about Liz’s decisions just plain fact, leaving the reader to that what they will with it.

I read an article recently that stated there is no space for quiet books in 2020. People want escapism. I don’t think this is true. Cat Step was an enjoyable read for me, and I’m sure many others will agree.

Pick up your copy of Cat Step here.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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