They Call Me the Cat Lady

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

In «They Call Me the Cat Lady» we follow Nancy Jones, the lonely local woman, who works at school, lives alone in her small house with five cats which she names after the people that sometimes meant something to her, the people she misses: Ted, Elise, William, Tabitha and Bea.

Nancy is the local cat lady, someone who the neighbours can reach out to when they need an “animal-sitter”, or to whom they will take the stray kittens. But she is also known to be the “odd-one”. She keeps to herself, spends her evenings alone and doesn’t have many friends.

Why did I pick up this book?

It was publicized as «A heart-wrenching and heart-warming story of love lost and found, and of second chances, They Call Me The Cat Lady is perfect for fans of A Man Called Ove and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.»

As you know, Eleanor Oliphant is my favorite book of all time and I’ve been on a hunt for similar books for over a year now. So far, «They Call Me the Cat Lady» is the closest one I’ve found, however still not as good. I know I shouldn’t be comparing these two books, but it’s difficult not to when the publisher itself promotes it as the book for the Eleanor Oliphant fans.

Although, Nancy Jones isn’t as odd as Eleanor, she has some dark past that she isn’t ready to face. That’s why she keeps to herself, afraid that people might find out and judge her, or that the memories will rush back with the force she won’t be able to deal with.

So when it comes to comparing these two books Eleanor Oliphant is definitely my favorite. It’s darker, it’s more character focused. While, «They Call Me the Cat Lady» is a slightly lighter version, with less oddities and more haunted past memories, not only Nancy’s but some of the side characters’ as well.

Even though I enjoyed this book and gave it a 4-star rating, there were some things that didn’t sit well with me.

The first one is the portrayal of Nancy as a cat lady of the town. I don't think it meant to come out so negative, but it did for me. If you search for definition of “cat lady” you might find something like this:
a woman who has a lot of cats, especially a woman who lives alone and is considered to be slightly strange.

That’s exactly how Nancy was shown. I understand that the message of this book is “don’t judge the book by its cover”, and that by the end of the story Nancy miraculously turned into a completely different person. But I still didn’t like how the “cat lady” was used negatively, as if it’s something to get rid of and improve on.

Another thing that I didn't like was the relationship between Nancy and her ex-husband. I didn’t like the way she let herself be treated, I didn’t like how she couldn’t stand up for herself, or have some more faith in herself.
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Not sure how but I managed to read this in a couple of short hours,  I just couldn't put it down, nor was I particularly aware of the outside world while I was reading it. 

Although I had read a few of Amy Millers books years ago when she was writing as Amy Bratley, I haven't read one for ages, but apparently the author is as absorbing as ever for me. I love her writing style and ability to tell a story. 

That being said I had no idea what to expect from this book, and I loved getting to know Nancy Jones, who is a bit of a lost soul, but has a heart of gold. 

She is many years on still recovering from a tragic accident, and it's lead to her leading a life that outsiders may see as odd. 

But as the book progresses you see her starting to heal, and open up her life a lot more.   The little boy she tries to help really got under my skin, and I also enjoyed the descriptions of her cats. 

It really is a lovely heartwarming story, that was a pleasure to spend a sunny afternoon reading.  

Thank you to Bookouture on Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author, for an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
I thought it was a well written, enjoyable, emotional and heartwarming book.
I would definitely read another book by this author.
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Huge thanks for Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC of this book.

I think I speak for a lot of other people who picked up this book because of the title and the premise of the book. This sounded in the blurb like a cozy, heartwarming story about a woman who loves cats, have insecurities and would rather spend her free time with her cats than her friends. I love cats, and I'm a huge introvert, so this resonates deeply with me.

It turned out to be much more than that. We begin with Nancy, a very reserved woman who lives with her many cats (whom she named after her deceased loved ones), and works in a school as an administrator. She keeps to herself, doesn't mingle much with the students, her coworkers, or her neighbours despite their friendly attempts to include her in social events or just to chat about their lives. As we go along with her days we discover the past she has, and why she is the woman she is like now.

Firstly, what I liked about this book is the themes they discussed, especially dealing with loss and grief, marital problems and familial conflicts. I also quite liked Nancy as a character, I think she brings out a lot of relatable problems many people suffer from in their lives. The main message that I found very touching is how in your lowest and thinking about your past, you imagine that you are the worst person in the world and that you do not deserve other people's love or attention. While in fact everyone is suffering from something themselves, we all have our low points in life, and our own weaknesses, but that doesn't mean we cannot continue establishing connections with people who can make us better people, and that doesn't mean that we still cannot be happy. Nancy learned a lot in this book, and so did I.

However I did find that the book was filled with stories or themes that are just too sugary, cliche'd, and overall just boring to me. It felt too much like a children's fairytale that is centered for adults and has more modern problems, but it just felt fake and sugary. Especially regarding Nancy's past and experiences. Even though it wasn't too rambly or boring in the sense that nothing happens in the plot, it just didn't reach out to me emotionally very well. I was left feeling like nothing in the book was very realistic, and therefore not substantial and did not evoke my feelings.

In the end it was a very enjoyable book. I wished for more cats, and it made me realize I'm not a huge fan of these feel-good, sweet stories. Indeed it was fun, nicely written, with tons of nice messages in between, but it's just not my cup of tea.
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I was intrigued by the title of this book but had no idea what to expect - I was pleasantly surprised!  This ended up being a much deeper, more emotional read than I was anticipating.  I loved how it proved you can think you know someone but we never really know what's going on inside another person.  Great story.
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I didn't know what to expect from this book and I was pleasantly surprised to discover this charming and heartwarming book. It was a delight to read from start to finish. I look forward to reading more from the author in the future.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC
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I assumed that this book by Amy Miller would be nothing more than good comedy or, at best, a Rom-Com. I couldn’t have been more wrong. They Call Me The Crazy Lady snuck up on me and grabbed me and did not let me go. It is an emotional, uplifting, hopeful book about letting go of the past, making changes and moving forward. I laughed, I cried and I was angry at times but in the end I was incredibly happy with the way everything worked out for everyone. The story is beautifully written, the characters charmingly created, and the cats wonderfully portrayed. I loved every single line of this tale. The book is gender neutral even though the word “lady” is in the title, it’s a delight for both sexes and all ages. I also found it to be a bit genre defying and would simply say that it’s well-done fiction. I highly recommend it.
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Leading lady Nancy is a fairly charming character, your typical example of how people judge others and never actually get to find out the actual person
With a variety of topics, this book tells us of an incident in her past that leads Nancy into living a reclusive life. She keeps herself to herself, loves her cats – which is good because she cannot help but take in any waifs and strays.  I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Alfie and Nancy, it was really sweet.

Overall, a heartwarming read that feline fanciers will truly enjoy. 
My thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the ARC of this book.
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To be quite honest, as I'm reading and nearly done with Ruth Hogan's The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, my opinion on this novel has changed a bit. Not for the better to be quite honest. I just feel that I am certainly not the intended audience for this having never lost anyone that close to me. This book will definitely pull on your heartstrings if you've experienced grief and therefore you should not take my review into consideration when thinking whether you should read it. It's beautifully written and has the loveliest characters which you'll grow to love, but just the story itself wasn't for me.
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This book screamed at me to read, just from the title! I am a cat lady! So is Nancy, who the book is centered around. I found this to be a fun book to read. It is the love of cats that is the center of the story really, that, and Nancy's past. She has to deal with both in her life and be able to move on in her life. I found the writing to be really good, which really helps to make the storyline even better. I do recommend this book.  It is great to read for a rainy weekend with some tea or coffee. Enjoy!
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I have enjoyed Amy Miller's 'Wartime Bakery' series & being fond of cats this seemed like a book for me.

I'm not quite sure why I didn't really fall in love with this one. The main character is well portrayed but somehow I never really gelled with this one. It was quite an enjoyable read. Thanks to Netgalley for giving me the chance to read & review this book.
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This was not my type of book and I was very disappointed in it. 
I had such high hopes for this book
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Enjoyed the characters and the subject of cats. The unveiling of her personality was lovely. 
No one knows what goes on in other people's lives do we
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When I first saw the title of this book, I knew it was one I just HAD to read, and I am glad that I did :)

Nancy leads a quiet existence with her 5 cats, and her part-time job at her local school. She keeps her cards close to her chest and the locals don't actually know that much about her. Her run-down house is her happy place and she doesn't need anything or anyone, other than her kitties. Then, one day, she sees a photograph which pushes buttons she has tried so hard to ignore. This leads to a whole series of events which turn her life upside down. 

This book was clearly written by someone who really GETS cats! I have 4 of my own and a similar kind of relationship to them that Nancy had to hers, and so I found myself really getting emotionally caught up in her story. I loved that Nancy was there to help out Alfie (and then later his dad as well) and was a soft place for him to land. All Alfies should have someone like Nancy in their lives. I felt for her as she re-visited the painful parts of her past but cheered her on, all the way.

A gorgeous book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture.

4.5 stars from me.
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This was an inspiring story which I really enjoyed.  There were many lessons to be learned from it - namely don't judge people as appearances can be deceptive.  

The central character is Nancy who lives alone in a dilapidated house with her cats.  She works as a school secretary and keeps to herself as she is wary of becoming involved with people.  Her cats are her family and provide all the company she needs.  As the story progresses we learn about Nancy's background and that she has had tragedy in her past, which now affects how she lives her life.  Through her other job as a 'cat sitter', she comes into contact with someone from her past who helps Nancy to revisit her past and begin a journey of healing.  

Ultimately this is an uplifting and touching read with very believable characters who are easy to engage with.  I will definitely look out for more books by this author.  Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to read it in return for an honest review.
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Everyone in town knows Nancy Jones, she's the cat lady, but do they really know her? Whilst she enjoys her job at the local school, Nancy pretty much keeps herself to herself. Other people may wonder about her but they don't know her secrets. They don't know the dark secrets, or why she's given her cats the names she has. They don't really know Nancy at all. A new cat sitting job brings a chance encounter that opens the door on a very painful past for Nancy. Will, she let people in and share her secrets? This is a lovely book, that will tug at your heartstrings. This is the first book I have read from Amy Miller, I would read more of her work.
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Being owned by three cats I just had to read this book!!  I loved it. They Call Me the Cat Lady was a fab book that I could not put down. A great read.
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This is a beautiful book about a woman and her cats, but it is more than that. It is about a woman carrying a secret grief that no one else knows about. It is a story of loss, but it is also one of hope. I enjoyed this book. 

I would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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Nancy is such an uplifting yet sensitive character – I really love novels that are character-centric. Her relationship with her cats was so cute, the way she spoke to them was so genuine and their personalities seemed to really shine through. The moments with Nancy and her cats were some of my favourite scenes in the whole novel, as she was at her most comfortable and relaxed, and the reader got to see another side to her than during her interactions with other people.

Nancy’s story was honestly so heart-breaking. Her cautiousness and safety-conscious attitude were an intrinsic part of her, and it was devastating that the one time she relaxed a bit something tragic happened. I won’t give too much away, but seeing her genuine pain and guilt affect her present-day relationships and decisions was very emotional. Her relationship with her ex-husband was clearly problematic in various ways, with overwhelming feelings of guilt and blame hanging over both of them. Their reunion towards the end was super sweet, and it was satisfying for the reader to see some of their issues being resolved.

I felt like Nancy’s journey throughout the novel was so beautiful, and it was explored in a really in-depth way. She started as a really lonely and fragile woman who slowly became more confident and happy throughout. Her friendships and relationships improved dramatically as the story went on, and I loved how the improvement of her house mirrored this. Her house started as a ruined and dusty dumping ground, with an overrun garden and unused rooms. By the end it was transformed, reflecting Nancy’s personal growth and increased happiness, and I loved how this connection between the two worked.

I would definitely recommend this, it was different to a lot of my recent reads, but it was fun, inspiring and a very sweet story.
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The title and cover pulled me in. This was a case where I picked the book before reading the synopsis. What a great surprise! 
This is a story of love, loss, friendship and the ups and downs of life. Thank you NetGalley!
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