Fire and Hemlock
A photograph called "Fire and Hemlock" that has been on the wall since her childhood. A story in a book of supernatural stories -- had Polly read it before under a different title? Polly, packing to return to college, is distracted by picture and story, clues from the past stirring memories. But why should she suddenly have memories that do not seem to correspond to the fa...more
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This novel is just so... damn uncomfortable. It's hard to pinpoint why it reminds me of two androgenous ballet dancers having a suspended representational sex/dance off while a Japanese man humps his way to oblivion, some things are just beyond the realm of human expression.
The easy answer would be to yell, "Pervert!" and run...more
I really wish I could read anything now that would give me the kind of experience I had as a child reading Ms. Jones's boo...more
(For DWJ's thoughts on her book, read her essay on heroics in Fire & Hemlock. I...more
Polly is a great character. When the book opens she's nineteen, but for the majority of the book, she's ten (and then slowly grows up). Terribly precocious, slightl...more
Much of the book is a sort of coming-of-age narrative of the main character, with whom I failed to sympathize. Although the p...more
The story centres around the relationship of a girl with an older man, and their adventures with magic and supernatural forces that are determined to interfere with their lives. The story swirls about...more
1) Ugh, the age difference between Polly and Tom. I am all about age differences, albeit with a tiny caveat: THAT EVERYONE BE ADULTS FIRST. Polly at age 10 realizing that she was flirting with him and just continuing on and the last time they see each other she's 15 (and he's like what, 29? And there's plenty o' flirting then too) and then they see each other for the first...more
The book gripped me from the first chapter, and I wanted to keep reading till it was done, so kudos for that.
HOWEVER, the ending (without giving a spoiler) was both satisfying and confusing, I was not really sure where the story ended up after I'd finished reading. This is a major drawback for m...more
I actually first read this as a teen and had some wonderful memories of it, which were mostly reinforced this second time around. I still am awed by Diana Wynne Jones's storytelling. She is peerless in the fantasy realm as far as I'm concerned. There are some books you read and re-read so...more
I do, however, have to admit that I did not get what was going on the first read through. It was a very difficult plot, obstructed with all those layers I just mentione...more
If you don't know Thomas the Rhymer or Tam Lin, The Golden Bough, Eas...more
Suffice to say, it was good, though I would have liked the fantasy elements to play a bigger part. This one was quite subtle for the most part, which isn't necissarily a bad thing, but it didn't quite satisfy my hunger. That aside, I felt Polly was a very well developed character, very lively and unique...more
Jones' characters are, as always, very colorful and I loved the developing relationship between Mr. Lynn and Polly. I also loved the numerous references to many classics and the story-telling both characters did. However, I disliked how Jones enshrou...more
Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite fantasy authors, growing up and now, and I was saddened by the news of her death. I can't say I'm overcome with emotion - as personal as some of her work is to me, its not like I knew her after all - but I wish I could put into words how I feel about her no longer being out there, writing new adventures and laughing at all of us serious fans thinking so hard about her words when we should simply get on with the business of enjoying them....more
For Diana Wynne Jones's official autobiography, please see http://www.leemac.freeserve.co.uk/aut...