The Mousehole Cat – Antonia Barber

POINTS: 3 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 point
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story:  2 points
Discretionary ideological points: 1 point

This is an excellent example of how a book can fail on all the technicalities and yet still be an utter delight.

The Mousehole Cat is a story about a courageous fisherman and his courageous cat and how they risk everything together to feed their village. I kind of don’t want to say much more about it because if you haven’t read it, the unfolding story is just beautiful.

Mowser is a slightly irrascible cat and she helps her human in that perfectly grudging “I would rather stay by the fire, but you obviously can’t do this without me” kind of way that belies a deep (if grumpy) love for him.

The story manages to show the importance of courage and kindness, of pulling together as a community, without being didactic or moralistic. There is just a smidge of magic, just enough to make you think it might be real.

It’s about a fisherman and his cat in an English fishing village, so it is not surprising that it fails Bechdel and any kind of diversity, but it is still totally worth a read.

Neither the kid nor I had read it before, and we both thoroughly loved it. ❤

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