Cat’s Pilgrimmage

Fourteen-year-old Cathreen has a crucial choice: follow the path that has taken her to a lake at a deserted scout camp where a girl is bullied and left to drown; or retreat to the dull existence she led with her mother in a small Vancouver Island town. But long before Cathreen, there is the story of the three lost stones fallen from Lucifer’s crown—a story in which her father’s family in Glastonbury has played its part. When Cathreen refuses to choose and flees instead to England to find her father, she steps across a boundary into a landscape where good and evil, justice, vengeance and enduring love vie for prime place in the human heart.

The Utopian community of Summerwood, where she finds refuge, inhabits a strange ground. It is a place where contemporary events brush up against mythology, a land populated by a rag-tag collection of lost souls who slowly reveal themselves to be players in a stark and mysterious drama. Watching over them all is Cutthroat, the cat, whose own attempt to find happiness is the engine that drives their collective destiny.

In Cat’s Pilgrimage, Marilyn Bowering has created a mysterious, vividly imagined world in which we willingly abandon the usual distinctions of the ordinary and the extraordinary and find ourselves engaged in an archetypal exploration of our human capacity for cruelty and evil. Marilyn Bowering has mastered a timeless sort of storytelling that is as gripping as it is poetic. The result is a highly original and deftly crafted novel that owes as much to Dickens as it does to fairy tales. It’s not easy to explain how a writer can create a world in which the appearance of a bog man is in no way difficult to fathom, or in which a cat, a dog and a donkey try to influence human affairs because of a broken heart, but Marilyn Bowering manages to straddle the mythic and human worlds in this novel to tremendous advantage. This is a genre-busting work of literature that showcases a mightily impressive intelligence and an utterly original imagination.

Harper Collins Canada, 2004 ISBN 0-00-639204-0
btb, Germany, ISBN 976-3-442-73402-3

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The World of Cat’s Pilgrimage:

The Glastonbury Zodiac: