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I’ve been a huge fan of Katrina Kittle ever since I first read The Blessings of the Animals, a beautifully written and plotted relationship drama with wonderful, multi-dimensional characters, both human and furry. I’ve since read all of Katrina’s books, and they’re all equally wonderful. Her new release, Morning in This Broken World, is not technically a cat book, but it does feature a lovable cat named Ox. Katrina is a consummate animal lover and mom to Annie, shown above, and a sweet Beagle named Serena.
The story begins with Vivian, who moved into an assisted living facility to care for her beloved husband. After Jack dies, she looses her will to live. Then the Covid-19 pandemic begins. When the facility’s management tells residents they will not be allowed to leave their rooms, Vivian decides that there is no way she will live confined to a small apartment and moves back into her house. When Jack’s favorite caregiver Luna and her two children are evicted from their apartment, Vivian invites them to live with her. Together with Vivian’s friends and neighbors Steven and Drew, they form their own “pandemic pod.” When Ox’s human at the assisted living facility dies, Vivian adds the grieving cat to their growing family.
This is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read about people coming together from such completely different backgrounds to form a family. Set against the backdrop of the early days of the pandemic, what could have been a depressing and unsettling story instead becomes a narrative filled with light and hope as we follow these unforgettable characters through their personal struggles in the middle of what was arguably one of the biggest global challenges or our time.
Of course, the addition of Ox the cat made me love this book even more. This big lug of a cat is so full of love, and I could almost hear his rumbling purr coming off the pages. I’m delighted that Katrina has agreed to write a guest post about the inspiration behind Ox, so look for that coming soon.
The best writers paint a picture with their words. Katrina’s luminous writing conveys hope, compassion and joy, and reminds us that connection is what matters most, regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in. It takes a special writer to create characters and a setting that stays with you long after you turn the final page.
If I had to sum this novel up with one word, I’d use “healing”. Somehow, Katrina’s thoughtful and uplifting prose gently guides the reader to look at a dark time in our collective consciousness in a different light.
I really wanted to savor this book and read it slowly, but at the same time, I had a hard time putting it down, needing to know what happened to these characters I came to love from the first few pages. Be prepared to smile, laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time as you immerse yourself in this powerful story.
Morning in This Broken World is available from Amazon.
For more about Katrina Kittle, please visit her website. I encourage you to subscribe to her newsletter, Kat’s Pajamas, for updates on her own books as well as book recommendations, interviews with other authors, updates about her adorable Annie and Serena, and a list of reasons to be happy.