34297985-1.jpgThe Astonishing Thing by Sandi Ward

Published October 31, 2017

Paperback, 304 pages


(Thanks to the author, I received a copy of this book to review.)



In her inventive, sometimes bittersweet, ultimately uplifting debut, Sandi Ward draws readers into one extraordinary cat’s quest to make sense of her world, illuminating the limits and mysterious depths of love . . .

Pet owners know that a cat’s loyalty is not easily earned. Boo, a resourceful young feline with a keen eye and inquiring mind, has nonetheless grown intensely devoted to her human companion, Carrie. Several days ago, Carrie–or Mother, as Boo calls her–suddenly went away, leaving her family, including Boo, in disarray. Carrie’s husband, Tommy, is distant and distracted even as he does his best to care for Boo’s human siblings, especially baby Finn.

Boo worries about who will fill her food dish, and provide a warm lap to nestle into. More pressing still, she’s trying to uncover the complicated truth about why Carrie left. Though frequently mystified by human behavior, Boo is sure that Carrie once cared passionately for Tommy and adores her children, even the non-feline ones. But she also sees it may not be enough to make things right. Perhaps only a cat–a wise, observant, very determined cat–can do that . . .

Wonderfully tender and insightful, The Astonishing Thing explores the intricacies of marriage and family through an unforgettable perspective at the center of it all.

“A beautiful and touching look into the intricacies of marriage and family life, all seen through the loving and unique perspective of the family pet.”

–Modern Cat



After being contacted by this author and reading the synopsis, I knew this was a must read for me. Who wouldn’t love a story written in a family pet’s perspective, especially a cat? I read A Dog’s Purpose and it hit me so hard, and I expected to shed some tears while reading this one as well. I wasn’t disappointed that’s for sure.

I found Boo an amazing narrator! I laughed, cried, and did a little of whatever you call the in-between. In my mind I always knew cat’s as curious and intelligent parts of our family, and Boo was no exception. I absolutely loved seeing the story unfold through her eyes. She had this way of understanding almost better than I think I would in her family’s situation. Boo just wanted everything to be “right” again with her family, but sometimes her “right” isn’t what happens, but she learns that it’s OK.

If you have any hesitancy picking this one up, please don’t. It was so well written and just a bittersweet book, that bring forth all of your emotions. The topics of mental health and abandonment (just to name a few) were handled with grace and seriousness. This is such a unique, lovely story!


  1. This sounds SO cute! I started reading A Dog’s Purpose but I only got a few chapters in. I don’t think I could read it – I’m so sensitive when it comes to anything with dogs (I watched Hatchi once and cried for literally hours). But animal themed books are great!

    Liked by 1 person

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