If you have ever wondered what it is like to be a cat, if you wanted to know the meaning of true love and kindness or if you like a really interestingly written and amazing story, then The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa ($25, Penguin Random House) is for you.

The book is a fast, beautiful read.

We travel through Japan in a silver van with Nana, a former stray with a crooked tail shaped like a seven, and his owner Satoru, who is visiting friends throughout the country to see if they can take his beloved pet as he has to give him up, although we don’t find out why until further into the book when we get a hint from a dog.

At each friend’s home, we learn a bit more about Satoru and his life at that time with that friend. We learn that despite his troubles and what could only be described as a tough childhood, Satoru is kind, thoughtful, optimistic and views his life with contentment. He is also a great friend and a kind person who loves animals, and cats specifically. Between each stop, we see the Japanese countryside through the eyes of Nana as well as learn his perspective on all things human. We also see the tight bond between cat and “owner”. Satoru gets Nana, seems to understand what he is thinking and does everything he can to ensure his happiness.

What a beautiful, touching book.

A copy of this book was provided by Penguin Random House for an honest review. The opinions are my own.