Yaxley's Cat

Robert Westall, Author Scholastic $13.95 (147p) ISBN 978-0-590-45175-8
This new novel by the author of Blitzcat and Ghost Abbey evinces a crackling pace that will keep pulses racing. While vacationing in East Anglia, Rose and her children come across a deserted cottage that, on a whim, they rent for a week. Unbeknownst to Rose, the cottage's previous inhabitant--who disappeared seven years before--was a Cunning Man, or village witch. Rose's tenancy of the Cunning Man's house arouses the suspicions of the villagers; it takes only a few unfortunate incidents to convince them that Rose and her family are witches-in-training--and need to be permanently disposed of. Told entirely from Rose's point of view (an unusual choice for a YA novel, especially one in which two of the three protagonists are children), the narrative builds to a truly frightening climax. As the plot ticks merrily along, moving with a tidy deadliness that calls to mind Hitchcock's creepiest films, even the most commonplace events acquire a sinister cast. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1992
Release date: 04/01/1992
Genre: Children's
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-590-45176-5
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