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Catfish Rolling by Clara Kumagai


Catfish Rolling by Clara Kumagai
UK Publication: March 2023
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★★]

This ARC was provided by Head of Zeus (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

It’s just a jump to the left….

Synopsis from Goodreads: Magic-realism blends with Japanese myth and legend in an original story about grief, memory, time and an earthquake that shook a nation.

There’s a catfish under the islands of Japan and when it rolls the land rises and falls.

Sora hates the catfish whose rolling caused an earthquake so powerful it cracked time itself. It destroyed her home and took her mother. Now Sora and her scientist father live close to the zones – the wild and abandoned places where time runs faster or slower than normal. Sora is sensitive to the shifts, and her father recruits her help in exploring these liminal spaces.

But it’s dangerous there – and as she strays further inside in search of her mother, she finds that time distorts, memories fracture and shadows, a glimmer of things not entirely human, linger. After Sora’s father goes missing, she has no choice but to venture into uncharted spaces within the time zones to find him, her mother and perhaps even the catfish itself…

My Thoughts: I loved this book about love, loss, grief and most importantly time. What is time, what does it mean and what happens if time is not experienced universally?

Sora is a great character which is necessary as we spend the entire book inside her head watching as she finds her way in a world that has changed forever. This is part coming-of age, part love story and part Japanese myth a blend that may sound odd but that totally works like Marmite Peanut Butter.

For me the ending of the book was perfect and bought the reader full circle.

Can we also just take a second to appreciate the work of art that is that front cover in this case you have my permission to judge a book by its cover.

Who would like this? I would recommend this to those who enjoy books about time, those with an interest in Japanese mythology and those who appreciate books where the world is seen solely through the eyes of one character, something that is becoming rarer nowadays.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

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