Touch Not the Cat – Mary Stewart

Bryony is in her early twenties, and for as log as she can remember she has been able to talk telepathically to someone. She is not sure who and as the years have passed she has always believed this person to be her lover. It is a gift that she has inherited from the family, so for her it stands to reason that the person she can talk to must also be a member of the family.

Bryony returns to the family home Ashley Court when her father dies, and now through the intricacies of law, wills and inheritance, the home passes to her uncle. He is ill. So it is his sons, James, Emory and Francis which show an interest in the family home and as Bryony’s cousins she knows that they will do what is best. But it seems there has been changes in the time that Bryony has been away and she is trying to understand why certain items have gone missing. And exactly what are her twin cousins James and Emory exactly up to. Confused with it all, Bryony thinks she might have solved the mystery of her lover and that of the history of the house too. But danger seems to be apparent, and other forces seem to be at work.

This is a clever book which weaves an element of fantasy (telepathy) into a story of family feuds dating back centuries, of the power and greed of money and how the key to it all seems to be romance. I enjoyed the book in the main, it seemed to take a while to get going and I was rather confused with all the entails and wills. I reread to get my understanding and learnt from it. I was actually put off by the secondary story line of 150 years previous which for a long time had no place in the current story and was a while before the whole thing linked in. I found myself skim reading it. I think when you are dealing with a number of ancestors that have a relevance to today, it can get a bit too confusing and I think I needed to concentrate more when reading. The denouement for want of better word, picked up the story line and I was racing through to the end as I suddenly wanted justice and a happy ending. It came. I was satisfied with the outcome. I felt that I had all the answers.

This is the second book that I have read by Mary Stewart and I was introduced to reading her work from reading blogs. I am pleased for this introduction, though to be fair my bank balance probably isn’t. I am going to be looking out for Mary Stewart not popular in my local Waterstones and will be hopefully reading more.

If you pop along to Gudrun’s Tights blog you will find that she is doing everything Mary Stewart for a week, which was what prompted me into reading another one of her novels as to coincide with this. I don’t take part in that many blog/read along events etc but I could see this was manageable.

Do let me know your favourite Mary Stewart and which one I should be reading next. You can see my review for Thornyhold here

5 thoughts on “Touch Not the Cat – Mary Stewart

  1. For Anbolyn’s reading week I am reading my first Mary Stewart novel! I am about 3/4’s of the way through Wildfire at Midnight now. I read most of it last night in binge read when I was meant to be getting an early night 😛

  2. I enjoyed this one, though I agree parts of it were a bit confusing. I liked the supernatural aspect and trying to guess who Bryony’s secret lover was. I’ve read about half of Mary Stewart’s novels now and my favourite is Nine Coaches Waiting.

  3. I read this one when it was first published I think and actually have a copy of it packed away at the moment. I only have vague memories of it so I’ll reread it when I can. I think your local library should have Mary Stewart books in reserve stock, which would help your bank balance and their borrowing statistics.

  4. The telepathy thing has always put me off this book, but I’ve liked or loved the other Mary Stewart novels I’ve read. My Brother Michael is my favourite to date, for the story and for the wonderful Greek setting

  5. I really liked Touch Not the Cat because I am a sucker for a supernatural element to novels. I thought the ending was clever with the maze, etc. I would second Nine Coaches Waiting and Madam, Will You Talk?, her first novel, is also great fun. Thank you so much for participating this week!

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