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The Lighthouse, the Cat and the Sea: 09/22/09

I'm surprised I couldn't find any online reviews of The Lighthouse, the Cat and the Sea by Leigh W. Rutledge. It's an absolutely delightful book about a life at sea and a home in a lighthouse. It's narrated by an elderly cat, Mrs. Moore.

The novel is Mrs. Moore's memoir of how she came to live as a lighthouse keeper's cat and what she has learned in her long thirty-one years.

Mrs. Moore's kittenhood is tied to the sea and to a ship that specialized in limes. Though these chapters at sea are short, there is enough time to build a memorable character in the form of the cook who has a thing for strays and keeps a pet chicken. At one point the ship has to come about in rough waters to save the chicken when it's overboard!

Mostly though the novel is about unconventional families and the misfits who make them up. The family who lives at the lighthouse are as odd and charming as the cook presumed lost at sea. It takes a certain sort of person to run a lighthouse.

I'm having trouble reviewing The Lighthouse, the Cat and the Sea because I so enjoyed it. I was swept away in the story even with the silliness of having it narrated by the cat. It has the charm of a Jimmy Buffett novel but with the narrative trappings of a Melville novella. Except of course told by a cat.

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Comment #1: Tuesday, September, 22, 2009 at 17:51:11

Helen Ginger (Straight From Hel)

You may have had trouble with the review, but you made me want to read the book. I love the idea of a cat narrating, a pet chicken, and a cook lost at sea. The Jimmy Buffett/Melville connection got me.


Comment #2: Tuesday, September 23, 2009 at 17:22:22


Thank you Helen for the very nice comment! I hope you enjoy the book. It was one of my favorites for this year and I plan to re-read it many times.

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