This was one of the books from the Christmas pile that I couldn’t get around to reviewing earlier. (Turns out my reading speed is faster than my writing speed). Read on to know more about Ambrose, the cat, during Christmas time.
Title – Nine Lives Of Christmas
Author – Sheila Roberts
Genre – Fiction
“The wind whispered, ‘last chance’ it said. The time to atone for his wicked past was now. But how was he supposed to do that? Where and with whom? Helping the dog was out of the question. That left the man, which made sense. A life for a life.”
Ambrose, the cat, is on his ninth life and wants to make the most of his last chance. He has been a mean cat in his preceding eight lives, and wants to atone for his past, and prolong this last life for as long as he can. Unfortunately, his owner passes away, her daughter wants to have nothing to do with the cat, and his options are being put to sleep or run away. Ambrose opts for the latter. While out on the street, he is attacked by a stray dog, and rescued in the nick of time by a jogger. In an attempt to repay the man’s kindness, and also stay safe from dogs and other nasty predators, Ambrose follows the human to his house.
The stranger is a firefighter named Zach. Zach likes cats but is dating Blair, the daughter of the owner of a pet store, who ironically hates animals. Ambrose will have none of this. In order to ensure his ninth and final life is meaningful, he decides to help Zach get rid of the cat-hater, and set him up with Merilee instead – a worker at the pet store (who actually likes animals). Ambrose’s mission turns out to be harder than expected. Zach is too scared of Blair to go against what she says or does, and Merilee gets into a tiff with Blair at the pet store and is promptly fired by the boss cum daddy. As much as Ambrose tries, Merilee is too shy to speak to Zach about anything besides cats, and Zach thinks he’s wrong for a nice girl like her. The rest of the story follows Ambrose’s efforts for a good old-fashioned Christmas miracle, and make Zach and Merilee realize what they’re looking for is in front of them. And at the same time find a comfy home for myself to while away his final life.
A sweetly written book that brings a smile (in most parts), and was an apt read for the Christmas season (with my cat keeping me company). There’s nothing great from the literary point of view, or memorable enough to want to retain the book in the home library – the characters lack originality (macho Zach, mild Merilee, manipulative Blair), the humans take precedence, defeating the purpose of the title. I would have liked to read more of the cat; Ambrose’s parts are excellent – especially when he’s reminiscing about each of his previous lives, the things he did, the people he met. But the book is not boring either. It undulates between clichéd and festive fun. This was a light, one-time read that I completed in two days.
Rating – 3/5