From Library Journal
A young woman whose marriage has not so inexplicably ended?it's clear that she is not very good at commitment?packs up her two cats and heads north, ending up in a snowbound cabin. Yes, she's about to exorcise all her demons, but it's not every coming-apart novel that features talking cats. Vinnie is prone to lecture our heroine, but he's devoted and reliable?he even struggles to devise snowshoes for himself. Sophie is the expressive one who makes up exquisite dances. Out in the blinding white snow to get provisions, the woman encounters an extremely obnoxious polar bear that she has apparently conjured up herself?her "worse nightmare," ready to take her back through her childhood. As those memories leak from an injury in her thigh, we see a little girl who has slowly had the life knocked out of her?until finally a mysterious visitor, somehow resembling a better version of the heroine, comes to the cabin to tend her. This debut by a playwright/actress may sound precious, preposterous, and obvious, and it is; but it's also intriguing, imaginative, and compulsively readable.?Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ms. Howie has the true storyteller's ability to command a reader's attention with the first paragraph. Her narrator is a woman of thirty whose affairs--mental, physical, marital, and financial--can all be filed under M for Mess. In desperation she packs up her two cats and heads north looking for snow. Snow becomes fantasy. One of the cats talks. A stupid and surly bear appears, along with images from the woman's past. At that point the author loses control of her psychotherapeutic parable; redundancy sets in, and with it boredom. This is a first novel, however, and the writer is worth watching. -- The Atlantic Monthly, Phoebe-Lou Adams
With its treacly whimsy about cat ballet and a card-playing polar bear, the book embodies its own vision of reincarnation, moving from human complexity to stupid pet tricks. -- The New York Times Book Review, Patrick Farrell