This cat's table includes an interesting group of hard-to-categorize adults as well as two other boys, Ramadhin and Cassius. The story follows the boys adventures on the ship, although the word "adventures" seems too strong a word for this gentle, insightful read.
Three elements of the book stand out: First, it is grand to see people and events through the eyes of the boys on the ship. Second, I like the contrast between the world of an 11-year old and later chapters in The Cat's Table where Michael is older. Childhood looks more serene and magical; adolescence and adulthood are not that way. Third, the adults on the ship are a wonderful collection of characters. I particularly like Miss Lasqueti, who made the quip quoted above. A woman of many talents, she spends her days reading mysteries in a lounge chair on the ship's deck, tossing overboard books that disappoint. A character after my own heart.
A very enjoyable book. The Cat's Table is recommended reading.