book cover of The Astonishing Thing
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The Astonishing Thing

(2017)
A novel by

 
 
In her inventive, sometimes bittersweet, ultimately uplifting debut, Sandi Ward draws readers into one extraordinary cat’s quest to make sense of her world, illuminating the limits and mysterious depths of love . . .

Pet owners know that a cat’s loyalty is not easily earned. Boo, a resourceful young feline with a keen eye and inquiring mind, has nonetheless grown intensely devoted to her human companion, Carrie. Several days ago, Carrie—or Mother, as Boo calls her—suddenly went away, leaving her family, including Boo, in disarray. Carrie’s husband, Tommy, is distant and distracted even as he does his best to care for Boo’s human siblings, especially baby Finn.

Boo worries about who will fill her food dish, and provide a warm lap to nestle into.

More pressing still, she’s trying to uncover the complicated truth about why Carrie left. Though frequently mystified by human behavior, Boo is sure that Carrie once cared passionately for Tommy and adores her children, even the non-feline ones. But she also sees it may not be enough to make things right. Perhaps only a cat—a wise, observant, very determined cat—can do that . . .

Wonderfully tender and insightful, The Astonishing Thing explores the intricacies of marriage and family through an unforgettable perspective at the center of it all.
 
“A beautiful and touching look into the intricacies of marriage and family life, all seen through the loving and unique perspective of the family pet.”
--Modern Cat

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"The novel touches on some very heavy topics. However, Boo's endearing voice is a salve for the reader, and Ward's command of balancing comedy with drama shapes the novel's tone into something both unique and inspiring. People who like The Art of Racing in the Rain will enjoy this unusual take on a family in crisis." - Adriana Arrington

"This charming novel reminds us that love and salvation can come in the most unexpected ways. I suspect all of us will look at our cats differently after reading this book." - Susan Breen

"The Astonishing Thing is a unique and poignant tale of a family's struggle as witnessed by someone who sees everything. A heartfelt homage to the four legged companions who accompany us through life's toughest times, this is a triumphant debut for Sandi Ward." - Helen Brown

"This is a truly special book, one that captured my heart from the very first line. In Boo the cat, Sandi Ward has worked magic to create an utterly believable narrator with the consciousness and emotions of both a feline and a human member of a close-knit but troubled family, and with the wisdom of - well, the wisdom of a creature who loves deeply and unconditionally those with whom she shares a home. And we trust this wise and yet vulnerable narrative voice as if it were indeed possible. The Astonishing Thing feels like a bit of a miracle and we all could use a miracle." - Holly Chamberlin

"Masterful in its telling, and weaving a complex story about mental illness, the complexities of love, and finding hope when all seems lost, this story will break your heart, and put it back together page by page." - Lisa Duffy

"Original and heartfelt." - Kathleen A Flynn

"The book touches on some of the darker turns in life...the cat's personality and insights are so unsparing that it pulled me though this rich novel." - Devin Murphy

"There are lessons here for everyone, about sacrifice, starting over, and seeing the hero in those we too often overlook. A fun and fantastic read." - Renee Macalino Rutledge

"An incredibly sweet and charming novel--but it doesn't shy away from difficult subject matter, either." - Jenny D Williams


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Used availability for Sandi Ward's The Astonishing Thing

Paperback Editions

April 2020 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: The Astonishing Thing
Author(s): Sandi Ward
ISBN: 1-4967-3029-1 / 978-1-4967-3029-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Kensington
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


April 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Astonishing Thing (Thorndike Press Large Print Superior Collection)
Author(s): Sandi Ward
ISBN: 1-4328-4847-X / 978-1-4328-4847-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Kennebec Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


October 2017 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Astonishing Thing
Author(s): Sandi Ward
ISBN: 1-4967-1111-4 / 978-1-4967-1111-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Kensington
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Kindle Editions

October 2017 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Astonishing Thing
Author(s): Sandi Ward
Publisher: Kensington Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU