As someone who lives in a multi-cat household, does God really use a cat to help people? Oh, that's right. This is fiction!
Seriously, this is a fun book to read, whether you are a cat lover or not. Jake Wilkerson was let go from his previous associate pastor position because he expressed doubts about his belief in God. He landed a new pastoral position in a small Pennsylvania town by keeping his doubts a secret.
The day he arrives at the rural church, the one with the crooked steeple, a cat shows up too. Jake doesn't know it, but that cat is on a mission from God. Jake decides to let the cat stay and that changes him and the entire community.
This is a cleverly written novel. The cat, Petey, knows people don't learn from words. They learn by experience. So Petey helps humans find the truth, then they can feel they found it all on their own.
I loved the quirky characters in this rural town! Some of those back woods people...well, you'll just have to read the novel. I was fascinated to see how some of those hardened characters were softened by a cat.
There are several themes Kraus weaves through the book. Keeping secrets is a big one. Another is the difficulty of having a good image of God as Father when you don't have a good image of your own (earthly) father. And the last one is about abortion.
One aspect of the novel was less than perfect. Characters in the novel kept talking about belief in God (including Jake, the pastor). There is never a firm statement about belief in Jesus as Savior. That makes this book acceptable to lots of God-believers but does nothing to inform the reader about the need for salvation through Jesus Christ.
The Cat That God Sent was nominated for the 2013 ECPA book of the year.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. You can read more reviews here.
Jim Kraus grew up in Western Pennsylvania and has spent the last twenty years as vice president of a major Christian publishing house. He has written more than twenty books, including the best-selling The Dog That Talked to God. He and his family live outside of Chicago with a miniature Schnauzer and an ill-tempered Siberian cat named (of course) Petey. Learn more about Jim at www.jimkraus.com.
Abingdon Press, 336 pages. Please visit your local Christian bookstore to purchase this book.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.