Cat’s Pilgrimmage Reviews

“A thing of beauty, a rich act of the imagination that alternately dazzles, puzzles and thrills. To read it, her first novel since her Orange Prize shortlisted bestseller Visible Worlds, is to be reminded both of the sheer power of fiction, and of just how pedestrian so much of contemporary fiction has become.

When was the last time you were surprised – genuinely, deeply surprised — by a novel? It’s been a while. Cat’s Pilgrimage surprises at every turn. …[It is] a heady blending of myth, legend, folklore and genres [that] succeeds because it is simultaneously rooted in realism and the imagination, while underscored by a fundamental humanity.

In Cat’s Pilgrimage, as in the best magic realism, anything can happen and does. Nothing is off limits to Bowering’s imagination. It’s a delicate balancing act, to successfully root the fantastic in the pedestrian, and Bowering succeeds marvelously.”

Robert Wiersema, Ottawa Citizen

“Marilyn Bowering …is a writer to watch. Cat’s Pilgrimage is an achievement [that] juxtaposes realism with magic realism in a way that challenges the norms of contemporary fiction. She contrives two disparate worlds — one mundane, the other fantastical — and slowly joins them with a seam that reveals an undercurrent of spirituality in our world. … Cat’s Pilgrimage resonates with wisdom and learning. Bowering weaves the strands of her story into a colourful tapestry that mirrors our milieu: the decline of the family unit, the senseless acts of violence, and the dreams and hopes dashed by these.”

Vancouver Sun

“[A] summary… not only oversimplifies but unfairly misrepresents the power of Bowering’s art… Bowering’s cadences soon mesmerize, the pages turning rapidly of their own accord… The weave of many life stories is rich and complex… the stories and their wrenching evocations of love and loss still resonate.”

Quill & Quire

“A writer who can unfold worlds from a single leaf…”

The Globe & Mail

“Bowering is a writer of immense muscle and elegance. She’s extremely adept at climbing inside the mind of her teen protagonist. More young adult fiction should read this honestly… Bowering… writes of violence and things repugnant as vividly as she renders beautiful landscapes and tender emotions.”

The National Post

“replete with delicate narrative layerings and poetic language”

Times Colonist (Victoria)

“Bowering’s skillful layering of contemporary life and magic realism serves to make the everyday seem all the more palpably sad … artfully drawn and … painfully human”

“A complex, beautiful and disturbing novel. Just when you think the present has learned nothing from the past, two simple, redeeming acts by the young heroine demonstrate that compassion still exists and hope is not dead.”

Audrey Thomas

“The unwary reader quickly discovers that the pilgrimage in Marilyn Bowering’s Cat’s Pilgrimage involves a descent into a horrific Inferno. Marilyn Bowering guides us down, then, just when we think we’ll never get back out, brings us to the surface again in a magical, unforgettable way.”

Eric McCormack

“Read Cat’s Pilgrimage in the dark hours between midnight and morning, when Marilyn Bowering’s powerful and original storytelling can work its intricate magic upon you. This is an extraordinary novel, deftly blending fantasy and reality … I found myself jarred in the most exciting way, for nothing turned out as I expected. A true reading adventure.”

Isabel Huggan

Leave a Reply