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 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, that takes them deep into the underbelly of human politics.
A cat’s-eye view of human foibles, Pallavi Aiyar’s new novel is as much a humorous and poignant snap-shot of contemporary Indonesia, as a universal story about the power of friendship that will resonate with readers of all ages. "