SINGLE MOTHER ELISE IS completely devoted to her eleven-year-old son; he is her whole world. But that world is destroyed in one terrifying moment when her son is killed in a car accident just outside their home. Suddenly alone, surrounded by memories, Elise faces a future that feels unspeakably bleak—and pointless.
Lost, angry, and desolate, Elise rejects everyone who tries to reach out to her. But as despair threatens to engulf her, she realizes, to her horror, that she cannot join her son: She must take care of his beloved cat. At first she attempts to carry out this task entirely by herself, shut away from a frightening new reality that seems surreal and incomprehensible. But isolation proves to be impossible, and before long others insinuate themselves into her life—friends, enemies, colleagues, neighbors, a former lover—bringing with them the fragile beginnings of survival.
Powerfully moving and deeply humane, The Cat is an unforgettable novel about the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit.
Edeet Ravel is the award-winning author of the Tel Aviv trilogy about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which received several esteemed prizes and nominations. Ten Thousand Lovers was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, Look for Me won the Hugh MacLennan Prize, and A Wall of Light was a finalist for the Giller Prize and won the Canadian Jewish Book Award. She is the author of two other critically acclaimed novels, Your Sad Eyes and Unforgettable Mouth and The Last Rain. Ravel was born on a kibbutz in Israel and has a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies.
“In her evocation of grief, and the terrible loneliness of grief that is unfathomable to those who stand at a little distance from it, Edeet Ravel is utterly, heartbreakingly convincing.”
—Joyce Carol Oates
“Bold and gutsy, yet sensitive and humane, Edeet Ravel’s The Cat takes the reader on a heart-rending journey from a place of unfathomable loss to a re-emergence of hope and faith.”
—Ania Szado, author of Studio Saint-Ex
"...once I began turning pages, I could hardly put it down. The novel is a precisely realized character study that amounts to an excruciating portrait of maternal grief."
—The National Post
Praise for Ten Thousand Lovers:
"Deeply moving...Lily's narrative alternates between memoir and linguistic meditations on ancient and modern Hebrew. It is in these passages, conveyed in a quiet and almost lyrical voice, that the full tragic dimension of Israel's character emerges."
—The New York Times
"This is a brave and beautiful book. It is a heartbreaking book. It could have been called Ten Thousand Dreams, or Ten Thousand Hopes, but Ten Thousand Lovers is best, for this book is at heart a love story. Read it for that, for the pure pleasure of it. But read it also to understand why love—even transcendent love—is sometimes not enough."
—The Globe and Mail
"Ravel weaves a rich tapestry of love… her knowledge of history and language infuses the book with veracity and vividness."
—The Chronicle Herald
"A shrewd and compassionate storyteller."
"[Ravel] blends the personal and political so well that our understanding of each dimension is enlarged … Ravel's characterizations are nuanced, and sidestep stereotypes... The dialogue is crisp, the plot compelling, and the glimpses of the ongoing war are powerful."
—The Globe and Mail
"Ravel moves effortlessly from the larger to the smaller picture, bringing us a fascinating perspective of someone living the politics of one of the world's most notorious hot spots amidst a daily life of much personal eccentricity."
—Quill & Quire
Praise for A Wall of Light:
"A thoughtful and heartfelt novelistic meditation on Israel's past and present...like the great Israeli novelist Amos Oz, Ravel employs the contemporary family unit as the ideal metaphor for the Jewish state... Ravel is impressive for her willingness to say in unadorned language what she so powerfully feels."
—The Globe and Mail