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Fifth Life of the Catwoman

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  163 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
"It's easy to find history written by those who win, those who hold power. It's hard to find history written by the ones who lose," says the mystery history teacher, Kat O'Malley. Unbeknownst to her students, she's living the nine lives of a cat, and her history lessons come from four hundred years of underdog experience with witch trials, prejudice, intolerance and povert ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published May 22nd 2013 by Llano Press (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 314)
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Susan Ferguson
Dec 18, 2012 Susan Ferguson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2012, paperback
I read the first few pages of this book several years ago, and they have haunted me ever since. The book is no longer published, so I had to go to a used bookseller to get a copy. I'm still mulling over and digesting this book. I did enjoy it even though I cried through a lot of it.
The back cover blurb is intriguing "An allegory of prejudice, intolerance, second chances, and the feline obsession with tuna".
I will try to write more about this when my thoughts are more organized. But I did like i
...more
Susan
This is really not the type of book I normally read. I would never have picked it up off the shelf in a store and thought "oh, that sounds good, I think I'll get it." Despite that, maybe even because of it, I give it five stars! It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think...that, to me, is what makes a great book. What I learned from it...you really CAN'T judge a book by it's cover.
Bark's Book Nonsense
Aug 05, 2010 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This one was sitting on the bottom of the huge tower of books that continually falls on this poor dog's head when he's sleeping. Someday I'll get them all read but for now he must suffer if he insists on sleeping next to the precarious tower.

Photobucket
It seems to be about a woman who has multiple lives, very much like a cat, who has retreated to a place of her own creation and resides peacefully with 50 cats.

Later: This one is indeed about a woman who has nine lives, just like a kitty, and they've all a
...more
Gina
May 07, 2011 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
...to describe how this book made me feel. It is poignant, it is bittersweet, it is joyful, and it is more. The descriptions in this book were exquisite, the characters were well-drawn, the lessons were apropos to any society at any time but even more so to today's American society -- and the book was filled with cats, which is always a plus in my eyes. If you've ever felt like an outsider, I think you will appreciate this book, and I hope you will love it as much as I did. And if you've never f ...more
Allison Floyd
For the first fifty pages, my dominant thought was "Oh, please." While that never entirely went away, what with the cheesy romance, and the Mr. Holland's Opus shtick, I'm glad I stuck it out. This is a beautifully written book, and though platitude-heavy and somewhat formulaic in parts, a genuinely moving tale that had me luxuriating in a sweet, wistful sadness when I put it down. Now where's the whisky?
Jana
Mar 16, 2008 Jana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone in search of a good story
Recommended to Jana by: found in library booksale room
such an ingenious plot base. had so much fun reading this book that my heart hurt a little when it was over. i had to stare into nostalgic space for awhile after finishing. then some more staring while eating chips and salsa which proceeded to burn my tongue. after recovering tho i want to recommend it to anyone who needs a GOOD STORY.
Jenny
Nov 04, 2008 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the best books I have read in a while. It is very interesting and just a fun read.....I would definitely recommend this!
Maureen
Apr 20, 2014 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read once and plan to read again.
Paul
Aug 13, 2010 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 death for being "too wel
...more
Jana
Jun 19, 2014 Jana rated it it was amazing
The Fifth Life of the Catwoman is now on my bookshelf of faves. A must-read for teachers. This is an exquisite and delightful read. Poetry and heartache and giggles--much like the life of a teacher. And the music references were not lost on me, m'am. I'd give it more stars, if I could. As a teacher and lover of animals, I thank you. What a beautiful, beautiful tale.
Bonnie
Jun 15, 2016 Bonnie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's quite possible that we humans have nine lives to live. If so, this is my first and I sure intend to live the next one differently. Perhaps I'm just getting started!
Gale
Jul 13, 2013 Gale rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: book club
Recommended to Gale by: everyone
A very different book about past lives,present lives.if you are a cat person you will love this book,also a cross between a fantastical,and a mirage like romance.a catwoman who talks to cats,she has a cat who talks.this book involves a catwoman reuniting with her brother in her past life,she is very leary of him,this book will keep you going with all the excitement of the past and present it will be hard for you to put it down enjoy.
Mary-Beth
Jun 06, 2007 Mary-Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Part woman, part cat, Kat has nine lives, given to her by her original mother. She lives on an oasis, alone apart from a large collection of cats. This story follows her reintroduction to society by a man who was her brother in a former life. She becomes a teacher in a town dominated by New Age philosophy. The teaching scenario is very idealized, and the romance is a little heavy-handed, but otherwise an unusual and entertaining story.
Gloria
May 02, 2012 Gloria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by my sister.


I liked it but didn't love it overall. The best parts were the cats (of course), the first instance of teaching alternative history (loved that), and the overall quality of the writing (good!). I think I was a bit annoyed or put off by what felt like a cheesy romance (dare I say it, chick-lit flavoring)…


I do think being a cat could be lovely.
Alex
May 22, 2008 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book, part magic realism, part something else. A fantasy book for those that don't like fantasy but do like cats and gardening. If you had nine lives, and had died young and horribly in the first 4, what would you do for the 5th? Hide? Would you be done with humanity?
Van
Jun 03, 2012 Van rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main human characters were sometimes irritating (a la J.K. Rowling) in their refusal to acknowledge or discuss obvious truths. However, the main character's evolution was satisfying. The cat characters were delightfully amusing. The book is worth reading for that reason alone.
Cheryl
Sep 27, 2007 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: fiction
A fairy tale/love story/social commentary about two people brought back together after four lifetimes. I loved Kat's past lives and all that she strove to imbue in her students. This is so quirky it works
Midge
I don't know why I liked this book so much. It's meloncoly, and not that much happens. But I find I can read it over and over, its like a comforting blanket.
Sarah
Dec 31, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Quick read and very enjoyable. I loved diving into this book so much that I don't think I stepped out again until I was done one weekend.
Arwen Telian
Jul 24, 2013 Arwen Telian rated it it was amazing
I don't think I can successfully verbalise/write how much I enjoyed this book. It was a treat and a treasure, and I am certain I will read it again.
Debbie Zapata
Mar 14, 2015 Debbie Zapata rated it it was amazing
Shelves: saturday
Don't know how I missed adding this to my lists before. I've read it half a dozen times, it is definitely a Can't Put It Down book.
Kristy McRae
Jul 26, 2011 Kristy McRae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful and lyrical story that stayed with me long after the last page was turned.
Tracy Valentine
Dec 14, 2007 Tracy Valentine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Katie
Katie I think you might like this book, not sure why.
michelle
Apr 13, 2008 michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
4.4.08 rec'd by jozelle, loved it
Jennifer
Mar 23, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
weird but good.
Catherine Adde
May 14, 2009 Catherine Adde rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magical!
Kathy Davis
Kathy Davis rated it did not like it
Sep 23, 2016
Lizzie
Lizzie marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2016
Cheryl Grimm
Cheryl Grimm rated it really liked it
Sep 16, 2016
Karla
Karla rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2016
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