For People Who Like: Trauma, Romance, Character Growth
Haunting and lyrical, The Bobcat is Katherine Forbes Riley’s magical debut novel in which Laurelie, a young art student who suffers in the aftermath of a sexual assault, has grown progressively more isolated and fearful.
She transfers from her busy city university to a small college in rural Vermont, where she retreats into her vivid imagination, experiencing the world through her art. Most comfortable in the company of the child for whom she babysits, and most at ease in the woods, Laurelie has shunned any connection with her peers.
One day, while exploring the woods, she and her young charge encounter an injured pregnant bobcat – and the hiker who has been following it for hundreds of miles. In the hiker and his feline companion, Laurelie recognizes someone as reclusive and wary as herself. The hiker, too, finds human companionship painful to endure, yet he is drawn to wounded Laurelie the way he is drawn to the bobcat.
As Laurelie moves toward recovery and reconnection she also finds her voice as an artist, and a sense of purpose, maybe even a future, comes into sight. Then the child goes missing in the woods, threatening the bobcat, the hiker, and the fragile peace Laurelie has constructed.
Katherine Forbes Riley actually sent me this book to review and I want to send a big thank you to her because I needed this book in my life. I absolutely loved this book and would recommend it to anyone.
So….I just finished this book and can I just say….it was frickin amazing.
I love the author's writing style and I love the little details like how it took us a while to know most of the characters' names (example: the love interest was “the hiker” for most of the book). Also, I love how the author portrayed the fear and uncertainty that comes with an experience like rape. Another thing I loved about this book was that the dialogue was SO limited. There was only dialogue when it was completely necessary to advance the plot which is something that I really like because sometimes I feel like a bunch of conversations/dialogue can distract from what’s actually happening so this was refreshing.
A couple things that I didn’t like were 1) The “supernatural” conflict. So at the end of the book we find out something really big about the hiker (not that it wasn’t hinted at SO MUCH). This part of the book just felt so rushed and not well thought out. I mean, you could’ve gone with him dealing with loss instead of what he turned out to be dealing with (I’m trying not to spoil too much). 2) While I was reading the book, I sometimes had to reread sections because I didn’t understand what was happening in the scene/what the author was trying to describe was happening. And some of the scenes were too vague, they left a lot to the imagination (to me at least).
The romance and character growth was some of the best I’ve ever seen. I mean we see a girl who is so secluded and then is put through a traumatic experience, by the end of the book we see her meeting with friends from school and coming out the school building with her head held high. This growth was so inspiring to see in this book and it really took this book to the next level. I kinda wish we saw what happened in the lab with the hiker, but I don’t think it was that important to the story (because he explains what happened enough that the plot continues to develop) so I get why more specific details weren’t shown.
Overall, if you couldn’t tell I thought this book was amazing and I recommend it to anyone and everyone who is looking for a nice, deep read.