Author: Helen Brown
Published by Allen & Unwin
My Rating: 5/5 stars
My Grade: A-
Summary: (From Goodreads)
Helen Brown wasn't a cat person, but her nine-year-old son Sam was. So when Sam heard a woman telling his mum that her cat had just had kittens, Sam pleaded to go and see them.
Helen's heart melted as Sam held one of the kittens in his hands with a look of total adoration. In a trice the deal was done - the kitten would be delivered when she was big enough to leave her mother.
A week later, Sam was dead. Not long after, a little black kitten was delivered to the grieving family. Totally traumatised by Sam's death, Helen had forgotten all about the new arrival. After all, that was back in another universe when Sam was alive.
Helen was ready to send the kitten back, but Sam's younger brother wanted to keep her, identifying with the tiny black kitten who'd also lost her brothers. When Rob stroked her fur, it was the first time Helen had seen him smile since Sam's death. There was no choice: the kitten - dubbed Cleo - had to stay.
Kitten or not, there seemed no hope of becoming a normal family. But Cleo's zest for life slowly taught the traumatised family to laugh. She went on to become the uppity high priestess of Helen's household, vetoing her new men, terrifying visiting dogs and building a special bond with Rob, his sister Lydia, Helen - and later a baby daughter.
How I would describe Cleo: Marley & Me for cat lovers. Cleo was a wonderful book about the love a cat gives, and how he or she can keep the family together. I am a cat person, so this book really called to me. I laughed, I cried and I smiled. But, ultimately, it's one of those books that makes you appreciate that something or someone special in your life and it leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
This review will be quite short, I don't have much to say, since it's one of those books that you have to read for yourself to love.
Helen Brown's voice in this novel is very honest, and I loved how she wrote her time of life with Cleo in such honesty. Her reaction and the way she was feeling was constantly there in Cleo and it was decripted very well. I could really feel her emotions throughout the entire book.
Cleo is a cat. But not just a cat. A FANTASTIC cat. (Kinda like every cat, but she's special.) She definitely seemed to be her own type of therapist for Helen and her children throughout the novel. Reading about her adventures as a kitten to her heartwarming everyday life, and then to her final days, she was always a special cat.
You should read this book. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and you will finish with this special little cat in your heart.