Book Review: The Bobcat by Katherine Forbes Riley

TW: Sexual assault Just when I swore off accepting any additional ARCs (advance reader copies) for the time-being, out stepped ...

TW: Sexual assault

Just when I swore off accepting any additional ARCs (advance reader copies) for the time-being, out stepped a publicist with The Bobcat, which I was sure would be a short read at just around 200 pages. So I accepted this copy with hopes I could read it quickly, but this really wasn't that kind of book. 

This novel follows Laurelie, a 20-something college student trying to get through her last semester of art school after transferring to a small liberal arts college following a sexual assault at her previous school that left her feeling traumatized. In her new town, she babysits a little boy who she often takes into the woods to explore. When one day they come across an unruly hiker and an injured bobcat he'd been following for many miles, Laurelie starts to piece herself back together through art and experience. 

I have incredibly mixed feelings about this book. It's written in such beautiful, poetic prose. The story is gorgeous. The imagery is exciting. The entire story is full of symbolism and hidden meanings. So while it's a wonderful book, it's not something I normally find myself reading. This book is literature, would I identify with in a completely different way than novels I read for fun and enjoyment. I don't get super involved in finding those hidden meanings and bits of symbolism. I want to read to relax, and this was not that kind of book, which absolutely is not to say that book isn't wonderful. It was just very deep. 

The majority of the book, you know none of the characters' names, with the exception of protagonist Laurelie. The only time the reader really even learns anyone's name is via dialogue, which is few and far between. There's something to be said in how the book is written that way - again, it obviously has a deeper meaning that I'm not quite ready to explore. But overall, it was a very interesting concept.

"But in her mind now that snowy silk was not lingerie at all. It was an exorcism. It was proof the body beneath wasn't forever broken." -The Bobcat, Katherine Forbes Riley

Forbes Riley is obviously an incredibly talented writer. This book was written beautifully, but I didn't feel invested enough to care about digging beneath the surface of the story. And I was left wanting by the ending - feeling a bit confused even. But for those who are fans of literature and literary devices, this may be one you'll want to jump into.

Goodreads rating: ★★★☆☆

*I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

You Might Also Like