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Winner of the Writer's Digest National Self-Publishing Award for Fiction, this debut allegorical novel combines a Southwestern setting with elements of magical realism, in which folkloric characters come to life. The Catwoman ("Kat") fears her present, fifth, reincarnation because her previous lives have ended badly. She dwells inside a desert mirage, alone except for her feline companions, who are wise, adorable, and mad for tuna. When a man stumbles into her refuge, Kat is alarmed, but she soon recognizes her brother from their first, original family. Angelo draws Kat back into the world by offering her a teaching job, convincing her that she can make a difference in the lives of the students. The scenes in which Kat uses her previous life experiences to teach her students are the best in the novel. As in her other lives, Kat is soon confronted by intolerance, and she must decide whether to stand or flee. Some library patrons may be put off by the pagan elements in this pleasant novel and by Kat's budding romance with Angelo. But those who like New Age or visionary fiction may enjoy. For larger fiction and regional collections.
Mary K. Bird-Guilliams, Wichita P.L., KS
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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ISBN-10:  0425186180
ISBN-13:  978-0425186183
Author:  Kathleen Dexter
Publisher:  Berkley Trade
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review by . August 13, 2010
This novel is about a woman who lives alone, inside a mirage, in the mountains of present-day New Mexico.    Kat O'Malley is not your average recluse. Several hundred years ago, O'Malley, then named Josefina, and her brother, Julio, received a gift, or curse, from their mother just before she was killed for being a witch. They were given nine lives, and made part cat. Kat is now on her fifth life. Her other lives did not end well. She was drowned for being a witch, stoned to …
Fifth Life of the Cat Woman
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