FeaturedMagical Realism

If Cats Could Talk... Would They Cry?


Loved it! 😍

A delightful and moving story that's full of heart; a true pleasure to read

 If Cats Could Talk, Would they Cry? is a delightful read and a moving story about one woman’s search for belonging, which happens to come through her unexpected transformation into a cat. At the outset, we’re dropped into the predicament of Julie Galles, who wanted “a change in perspective,” which she gets when she wakes up one morning, in her Paris apartment, as a cat. We learn the rules of her new existence, including the joys of chin scratches, but the true delight in If Cats Could Talk is that it doesn’t set out to solve the mystery of her “catmorphosis.” Instead, Julie accepts her circumstances and seeks to explore the world in her new form. The ensuing frustration she faces as her mother and best friend dwell on why she was transformed—her friend baffled enough to suggest it could have been something she ate—leads to some playful dialogue and provides a base for much of the book’s humor (of which there is plenty).

While there is no lack of whimsy—quaint French gardens, a temperamental dog, a talking cat—the story never veers into the overly-sentimental. It is rich with emotion and uses magical realism to mine intimate truths about its characters. Scholz’s vivid imagery and talent for description bring to life both the Parisian scenery and Julie’s internal insecurities as she navigates the world—as cat and as human. Julie’s present, as a cat, is interspersed with flashbacks to her time as a human, where we meet Julie’s mother, sister, friend, and lover. Sholz’s distinctive voice and use of the close, limited third-person perspective allow for a surprising depth of character development in so few pages. The book is full of delicate scenes showing the complexity of intimacy, desire, and love. It’s through Julie’s becoming a cat that these human interactions find meaning; she’s not trying to become human again, but to consider what human parts of her would be left behind. Overall, If Cats Could Talk, Would they Cry? is immensely readable and full of heart.

Reviewed by

I'm an essayist, performer, and playwright in Brooklyn, New York. My work, which has been published in PANK, The Exposition Review, The Porter House Review, and other journals, is largely experimental and plays with form and genre. I've also written and performed a one-woman comedy show.

About the author

Born in the Soviet Union and raised all over the western hemisphere. When I was younger my parents received donations from doctors without borders. Now I write stories about gaps in our societal membrane. I have a dangerous curiosity toward anything new. view profile

Published on May 28, 2020

Published by

40000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Magical Realism

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