Foodie Lit

Lisa Brunette's  Cat in the Flock

Author Lisa Brunette told me, “I am fascinated by the way human beings subvert stereotypes and embody contradictions. I can't stand one-dimensional portrayals on either side of the political divide, so I wanted to create characters with great complexity. …{T}hey're not only more true-to-life, but more interesting.”

 

Thus Cat in the Flock is populated with strong, multi-faceted women. Presented are contrasts and hidden parts of the women you present. Anita is the pure soldier, until she is not. The exotic dancers may be thought to be loose and coarse, until we see their other faces. The stiff girls in the Plantation Church program turn out to be true friends, sincere in their beliefs as much as Cat’s mother and Granny Grace, who are suspicious of Evangelical Christian.

Leaving St. Louis, Cat (Cathedral) joins her the PI company of her Granny (Amazing Grace) in Seattle. (Yes, their names!!) They are both smart, resilient women. Lisa comments, “I have seen very few strong, career-focused grandmother/granddaughter relationships in fiction, so presenting one was important to me. Granny Grace was inspired by my husband's late mother, who really did legally change her name to A. Grace, and when asked, would say the A stood for "amazing." Cat and Granny Grace differ in many ways, yet have several talents in common, including dreamslipping. These clues help them solve crimes, find suspects all to the amazements of their clients.

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“Dreamslipping” is the gift both have that allows them to dream other people’s dreams, sometimes family members, sometimes strangers on a plane or those sleeping near them. Cat struggles with this talent. Her grandmother teachers her to control her presence, learning what she needs, comforting those who are frightened and leaving the dreams when necessary. “No skill comes easily at first, so just like with anything - writing, for example - Cat must hone her skill even if she was born with the gift. She must learn to focus and calm the chatter of her young mind. She must also learn the ethics of dreamslipping.” 

 

Ethics are an important component of this novel, and not only in dreams. As a victim of trauma, Lisa knows firsthand about those who psychologically and physically damage victims. The victims presented in Cat in the Flock are drawn with depth and sympathy and an understanding of the fear and distrust victims have of others.

 

There are many life paths depicted in Cat in the Flock. Of this, Lisa comments, “I believe we all choose our paths, reacting to the road as it twists and turns before us, and all paths are valid.”  A refreshing viewpoint in our divisive times.

Cat enjoys Eggs Benedict on a date and we have 3 versions here that are fabulous. Maybe they would slip into Cat's dreams!

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