We received a free review e-copy of ‘Welcome Bernard Socks’ but will be buying one for our Grandma for Christmas. Paul Magrs (the g is silent) is a noted author with writing credits on Dr Who. He also is a talented artist whose work can be found on RedBubble.com, he has a special touch when drawing cats and beautiful cities like Paris. We use Amazon affiiate links.
Not many writers can transform ordinary lives into an amazing and absorbing experience, but enter the magical world of Welcome Bernard Socks. You discover a world where forgotten cats fade in the shadows, a potentially disastrous escape attempt leaves you wide-eyed with astonishment. Here you see just how well a cat copes when the ceiling disappears……
Meet Bernard Socks, Cat Hero
Bernard Socks is the new arrival at the home of Paul and Jeremy, in Levenshulme a suburb of one of Britain’s largest cities, Manchester. His story begins as our heroes mourn Fester the cat who left firm paw prints on their hearts, as well as over the local gardens and down by the local railway. You will recognise the feelings of loss and sadness that follow the passing of a special and much loved cat, and the space in a heart that needs to be filled, sooner or later…..
All of this is observed by the shade of Fester Cat. He is gratified to see that the boys miss him a great deal. Fester tells of the boys’ discussions and then Paul’s thoughts on moving forward. He then narrates the discovery of Bernard Socks in a magical, or mysterious, or simply extraordinary cattery come treasure shop (yes there is such a thing!)
You will watch with delighted astonishment as event after event unfolds and Bernard Socks settles in; his many pseudonyms, how he is lost, and found, or perhaps not lost but simply meeting Fester on the most magical day of the year, when fading cats roam and extraordinary and truly special things happen.
Every pet owner who has loved and lost will empathise totally with Paul’s constant worry about new arrival Bernard Socks, where he goes, how he copes, if he is happy; but very few of us could describe the passing days with such perception and deft touches of humour that draw us into their corner of the world with such ease.
Meet Bernard Socks and his Disappearing Roof
The eventual disappearance of part of the roof, and the subsequent attempts to rectify matters, is told with mixture of desperate fortitude and surreal patience, as a parade of finely drawn and borderline insane characters (who are meant to be putting things right), are followed with interest by Bernard Socks and his new family, as the people fail, and fail again to mend the ceiling…..
Over all of this Fester presides with thoughtful comment and wry observation. He is much missed but ever ready to guide his new protege to all the best spots in Paul and Jeremy’s house and garden. The same spots, Paul notes, that Fester used to like – and he wonders…..
What did we think?
We loved this book. It is beautifully written, funny, wistful and it captures with humour, wit and a few tears, the spirit of cats old and new within a small precious gem of real and ordinary life. Oh, and then there is the theory proposed by the retiring vet…….. We’d love your opinion on that!
Reviews of Welcome Bernard Socks:-
“Bernard Socks turns out to be a very different character to his predecessor, Fester (who nonetheless keeps an affectionate and sometimes exasperated eye on proceedings, narrating from sidelines). Picked from a rescue centre – whose staff and inhabitants are well described by Magrs’ vivid pen strokes – Socks is a bundle of energy, combative and adventuresome.” – Roy Gill
“Two months after Fester’s death, Paul has enough of the emptiness and begins checking out rescue sites, just looking, mind you, not really interested in a new cat, really. But Jeremy is depressed and it becomes apparent that the boys need a new cat. Paul has even found a cat at a local shelter, Sox.
Paul and Jeremy visit Sox, but can’t bring themselves to decide on adoption, and after multiple visits, decide that they are ready to welcome a new cat into their lives. The whole time, a ghostly Fester watches and provides his opinion and observations on the the adoption, along with his expertise to the newly named Bernard Socks.” – Joyfully Jay
“At a quaint little charity shop that is also a pet rescue, full of the tat that Paul and Jeremy love most, from old disco records to moldering paperbacks, there’s a room in the back full of cats. Paul has been looking at these cat’s images online, thinking it was idle curiosity, but…. realising that it was more specific. They are there to meet a dapper tuxedoed cat named Sox. Despite much to-ing and fro-ing, Sox comes to live with them.” GoodReads