My favourite globetrotting cats, Tofu and Soybean, are back in another glorious rumpus-bumpus, this time in Indonesia. Pallai Aiyar's series continues to delight, as the fabulous felines brave fake news factories and catnappings, and make a most surprising friend. -- Nilanjana Roy
Soyabean and Tofu, two alley cats from Beijing, have recently moved to Jakarta with Mr and Mrs A, their human family. Just as they are settling into a tropical idyll of frangipani trees and long snoozes, strange goings on in the neighbourhood have them on alert. A rat is skulking about in the garden, a mysterious neighbour is making life difficult for everyone and the family's beloved driver is attacked by a vicious mob. Separately, Mrs A, a journalist, is fast discovering that under Indonesia's surface calm, communal tensions are rife. As events snowball, the cats find themselves unwittingly sucked into a fake news network whose aim is to upset the country's fragile religious harmony.
A cat's-eye view of human foibles, Pallavi Aiyar's new novel is a humorous and poignant snap-shot of contemporary Indonesia, that will resonate with anyone who has loved a pet.
Jakarta Tails: The Continuing Adventures of Soyabean and Tofu by Pallavi Aiyar
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