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Publisher's Summary

Haunting and lyrical, The Bobcat is Katherine Forbes Riley’s magical debut novel in which Laurelie, a young art student who suffers in the aftermath of a sexual assault, has grown progressively more isolated and fearful. She transfers from her busy city university to a small college in rural Vermont, where she retreats into her vivid imagination, experiencing the world through her art. Most comfortable in the company of the child for whom she babysits, and most at ease in the woods, Laurelie has shunned any connection with her peers. 

One day, while exploring the woods, she and her young charge encounter an injured pregnant bobcat - and the hiker who has been following it for hundreds of miles. In the hiker and his feline companion Laurelie recognizes someone as reclusive and wary as herself. The hiker, too, finds human companionship painful to endure, yet he is drawn to wounded Laurelie the way he is drawn to the bobcat. As Laurelie moves toward recovery and reconnection she also finds her voice as an artist, and a sense of purpose, maybe even a future, comes into sight. Then the child goes missing in the woods, threatening the bobcat, the hiker, and the fragile peace Laurelie has constructed. 

With the hypnotic intensity of Emily Fridlund’s The History of Wolves and Fiona McFarlane’s The Night Guest, Riley has created a mesmerizing love story, in lush, gorgeous prose, that examines art, science, and the magic of human chemistry.

©2019 by Katherine Forbes Riley. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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  • Kelly Mack McCoy
  • 18-05-2021

Unforgettable!

Like the bobcat in her book’s title, Katherine Forbes Riley uses stealth to draw in her reader’s heart until that reader is unable to escape. Once immersed in her tale, I couldn’t put the book down until I finished the story. Her protagonist used her art as a way to escape her pain until the art almost became her reality although it was often no more comforting than the world she was escaping from. She was pulled out of that world by a stranger, seemingly at first almost against her will. Her heart was so damaged from the assault she was running away from both physically and emotionally, that she was unable to let anyone else into the world she had built. The realities of her life merged back together, the life of art and the life she escaped, when she was able to let someone else into both worlds.

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  • Melaura Wittemyer
  • 04-01-2021

Stunning debut

Beautiful, lyrical, naturalistic prose about healing and survival. Her writing is poetic and paints a lovely landscape.

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