Occasionally, good writing penetrates the walls we build around ourselves, opens the shutters and windows to let sunlight in, and reminds us of who we are, what events shaped us, and hints how we got to this particular place. Michael Ondaatje's writing does this for me.
Some events take a lifetime to reveal their damage and influence.
This truth, a defining presence in Ondaatje's writings, is a powerful current in the flow of this novel. The Cat's Table is understated and life-affirming, with a cast of characters that capture a lifetime of experiences during several weeks at sea.