“The thing is that men, with the kind of power that comes with money and knowledge, assume the universe. It allows them an easy wisdom. But such people close doors on you. Within such a universe there are codes, rooms you must not enter. In their daily life there is always a cup of blood somewhere.”
“The Cat’s Table” is a boy. It’s a boy’s story of coming of age with his friends. It’s the story of the men who surrounded him at that time.
But it’s also the story of a boy learning about the depth of women. He’s 11, and desire is starting to wake with him. But he’s also learning that women are strange, complex creatures.
The women on the ship in which the action is set are unmarried, living without men. They are as quirky as the rest of the characters, just as vividly drawn. And although most of the book is filled with stories of men and boys, they are ultimately the deciders of fate.
In the main events of the novel, women are the actors. Women who think the above thoughts in their private moments. Women who make choices, who fall in love, and who bear the scars. Women who are the arbiters of life and death, of happiness and sorrow.