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5.0 out of 5 starsSo happy to have found this book at last!
Reviewed in Canada on April 28, 2017
I first came across this book 40 years ago, just after it was published. To this day, it remains my favourite mystery/love story. I have looked for a copy for many years now and was thrilled to find it here. Although the only copy I could get was used, it is in excellent condition - no broken binding/spine, no dog-eared pages, no marks, notes or assorted food and beverage remains. Just the book, the fabulous plot line told as only Mary Stewart can ~ drawing you into a web of mystery, history, family, lies, deceit and love. I re-loved this entire book in a single afternoon and I am certain to enjoy it many times over in the years to come. A definite good yarn.
5.0 out of 5 starsmary stewart always a pleasure to read
Reviewed in Canada on December 1, 2018
Mary stewarts books are of a certain era - a good mystery, sometimes a little romance, very sweet. Always so well written and well researched and her use of the english language is beautiful. Her books take place in many places but the essential goodness of the british heroines and heroes (of that era ) shows through. No extraneous nastiness (violence,sex,swearing)
One of my favourite books. I read this when I was a teenager, many years ago. It affected me hugely. Later, I read Mary Stewart's Crystal Cave series and loved them, too, but somehow I never forgot this book, Touch Not the Cat. The brilliant and profound concept of telepathic communication between two souls who have not yet formally met (though they are known to each other), and all the sub-plots, intrigue, mystery, loss, descriptions of the English countryside are just fantastic. Stewart is a brilliant, descriptive writer. One of the best in her century. I saw it on Amazon as an eBook last month and am rereading it, near the end, and slowly savouring it, not wanting it to end. I think I enjoyed it even more the second time I read it.
I’ve loved Mary Stewart’s books since I was a dreaming teenager. The perfect melding of romance and suspense, her books take me back to an innocent time. I highly recommend this and all others by this special author.
5.0 out of 5 starsUnforgettable and Strangely Comforting
Reviewed in Canada on December 18, 2014
This is one of those books that I enjoy re-reading from time to time, in fact I have just bought it again in hard cover as my old paperback was in pieces.
In this era of portable phones and ever-present electronic communication, the concept of “thought transference” may sound tame and obsolete, but if one is prepared to be transported back to a simpler time (and, let's face it, for most of us fiction represents escapism), entering this novel's atmosphere will plunge the reader into a world at once disconcerting and curiously comforting. The “gift” of the Ashleys provides an eerie recurring theme which runs through the story like a golden thread, and there is plenty of intrigue, dark deeds and greed-fuelled violence, however, the dominating element is romance. In this novel, Mary Stewart gives us an unashamedly romantic love story, in fact more than one, as there is a parallel subplot running alongside the main one. In fact, we are immediately made aware of the author's intent as the literary quotes that introduce each chapter are all taken from that quintessential celebration of love, “Romeo and Juliet”. Several clichés are used to define some of the characters but the main players are richly nuanced and, as usual, we are never sure of who's who until the very end. The mystery here revolves around the last words of a dying man which seem to make no sense but, in time, provide the solution to many old secrets and also point the way forward for the heroine.
Lady Stewart really is a powerful narrator and many of the scenes, especially those taking place at night, stay with me as if I had watched a film, instead of reading a book. It's difficult to explain why but this story always leaves me with a warm glow.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2018
I don't particularly like the slow starts to Mary Stewart's books and I wanted to put this one down but persevered. The author has the uncanny ability to move a story along even when you think the plot is going nowhere all, then suddenly you have arrived at the denouement. No adrenaline rush from uncontrolled villains, only a gentle stroll with maybe a trip over a style in the way of any action to the end. Anthony has telepathic abilities but with only one unknown person. As this ability has passed through generations of family, she assumes it must be one of her three male cousins. She realises she loves this person and after her father's death she returns to the manor house to try and make sense of his cryptic half broken, messages. And why is she in danger?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 29, 2016
This novel has nothing to do with cats ! Despite the many years since first published, this is a novel I enjoy re-reading. Mary Stewart's books are always well written, the characters well drawn so that one can relate to them, the story line interesting and original, and the background so much a part of the whole that one can "read oneself into the book." This novel is no exception. There is a mystery which will keep you guessing right through together with some gentle romance which is very believable and yet surprising. I am always sorry when I come to the end.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 22, 2018
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While the story, considered in cold blood, can hardly be described as credible, I had no problems suspending my disbelief while I was reading it. The characters were believable, although I felt the Twins were slightly overdone. The book provided me with a few hours entertainment, which is no bad thing.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2018
Really good book. Enjoyed it immensely. One I had never read. She is/was one of the best writers of fiction. Drama and romance in equal measure but never cloying or annoying. May be a bit 'tame' for today's reader - not a lot of violence and zero sex - but one does not expect it nor miss it. Light reading.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 24, 2013
This has long been my Mary Stewart favourite, although re-working my way through her novels, I'd now say The Moonspinners and Airs Above the Ground equal it. And still a few more to read!
In addition to her characteristic "feisty female coping with a dangerous situation" scenario and the author's outstanding atmospheric descriptions, this particular novel adds a touch of the mystic. Bryony has always had a telepathic link with her lover, does not know his identity but thinks it must be one of her three cousins. When her father dies, she returns to the family home determined to understand his mysterious dying words with surprising, romantic and dangerous results.
It's an enjoyable read, not too demanding - but as always, Mary Stewart stands head and shoulders above many more recent authors for her fast moving plot and excellent use of the English language.