Finished May 1
The Consciousness of Cats by Nigel J. Borthwick
This short novel tells the story of Nathan Blakemore, a young man with a master's degree in philosophy, who, as the story begins works as a part-time professor of philosophy and as a salesman for music equipment. When he was a bit younger, he was a sound engineer for a moderately successful rock band. He has a good friend that he talks philosophy with, Charmaine, who is a few years younger than him. Charmaine works as a cocktail waitress and is at university studying psychology. Her mother has had some issues with alcohol as well as psychological challenges. Charmaine is a very calm, reasoned young woman, and even as the two become closer, she holds Nathan at a distance.
Nathan feels his life is missing something, so he is determined to move on and not wait for Charmaine to tell him what is holding her back. He volunteers for a long-term assignment in the Philippines and enjoys the projects there and the people he meets. When a crisis occurs that changes his life forever, Charmaine re-enters his life briefly, and then leaves him to recover on his own. As Nathan learns strategies and tools to help him live with his new reality, he also finds that his life has grown larger and more satisfying.
This is a book of a man learning how to deal with his life more thoughtfully, taking a step back to control his impulses and gaining something for that.