Monday, January 04, 2010

Book Review: Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart

An author I enjoy reading for mindless entertainment is Mary Stewart. I have a few of her books picked up at various book sales on the cheap, but have really only read those as our library doesn't have many others. I found Touch Not the Cat at a recent library sale and snatched it up.

Mary Stewart
writes romantic suspense books, but clean. Think Mary Higgins Clark that are not as dark or scary. I also think Mrs. Stewar's a better writer. I enjoy the way she puts words together; her syntax is always interesting and engaging. She started publishing in 1955 and her last book was published as recently as 1997. In two of her books, as in this book, she gets into some ideas (this one was telepathy). It is a plot device, used to push the story along. She often pulls in literary allusions to Shakespeare or another great (British) writer.

Bryony Ashley is a young woman who has had a "telepathic" relationship for as long as she could remember ... but she doesn't know who the other person is. When her father is mysteriously run down in Germany, she inherits parts of his estate with the majority tied up in trust for the next male in the family. Three cousins (one of whom could be her young man) are the sons of the heir to the remainder of the estate. The literary allusions here are to Romeo and Juliet and there is an older Ashley family story running in the background that has impact on Bryony's story.

Who killed her father? Why? Who is her young man? What is she going to do when the estates are settled?

Entertaining but not serious reading. This was read as Book 1 for the 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge of the Well Trained Mind Forum. I partially read this mind candy to give me two weeks to tackle Climbing Parnassus.


  1. So, is mind candy cheating? LOL

    I'm not going to join the challenge but I do hope to post my reading list from 2010 on my blog.

    Can't wait to hear about "Climbing Parnassus." I'm thoroughly enjoying the Elizabeth Prentiss book- thank you so much for letting me borrow it!

  2. Nope ... just read 52 books. And if you can throw in a classic each month so much the better :)

    I'm not super hopeful about CP. I started it once before and it is heady stuff ... and frankly I think it is a bit, um, pretentious in its word choice. Lots of $$ words for the sake of $$ words. But maybe it'll be better :)

    You're welcome! I enjoyed it very much. You're welcome to pass it to Jeanelle if she's interested. Did she give you your book back?

  3. Yep- I have my book. Hope you enjoyed it. Elizabeth Prentiss is one of my favorite people from history! (Hence the naming of dear child #5... she was also named after Elisabeth Elliot.)

  4. Welcome to the 52 books challenge. I read Touch Not the Cat last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Made me want to go back and read her arthurian series - hollow hills, crystal cave. Probably still will. Look forward to hearing what you think about Climbing Parnassus.

  5. LOL. Sounds like fun mind candy. Can't wait to hear how Climbing Parnassus went.

  6. I was planning the same sort of stradegy. I'm hoping to tackle Ulysses this year, I can't even spell the title... that bodes well. While I'm reading it I'll be skimming through some junk books, but I think I'll call them mind-candy, I like that title better ;)

    Thanks for sharing!


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