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
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
I liked both Tom and Polly, and I enjoyed the book, but I had a lot of problems with it.
My chief problem was: I have a ten-year-old daughter, and my suspension of disbelief, which handled all the magic stuff without difficulty, totally choked on the idea that anyone (even people as irresponsible and immature as Polly's paren ...more
But, as a college student, Polly suddenly comes to the realization that she hasn't thought of Thomas in ages, although he was terribly important to her. And no one she talks to seems to remember him at all. Ot ...more
Loosely based on the legend of Tam Lin...
NOWEHERE... HERE NOW... WHERE NOW....
Not many books leave an impression on you after you've read it. Those that do (and in a positive nice way) are companions for life. I've read this book several times and I still enjoy it.
First published in 1984 - it's charming Old School wholesomeness, well written and quintessentially English.
Polly Whittacker: 19 year old student reading ...more
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 screaming in ...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
I remember this as being the catalyst that set me off to find out more about Thomas the Rhymer and Tam Lin, so it was very interesting to read it nearly 20 years later and from the other side, with the ballads well established in my head. It let me pi ...more
For DWJ's thoughts on her book, read her essay on heroics in Fire & Hemlock. I rehash lots of what she says there.
Let’s start with the underlying myths: 1) Tam Li ...more
I found the first half of this book fairly boring, because it was just sort of chill, and when magic did happen, it seemed dark, or accidental, and all sorts of threats were made, but I wasn't sure any were ever going to be carried out really. Then the ending confused me, and I had to read it a few times to gr ...more
Right after finishing the book I was just really frustrated – the ending made my face screw and I just had to throw the book god-knows-where (I'm sorry, Tom, the poor book was pr ...more
But then I read some Goodreads reviews from people who love this novel (though don't get me wrong; there are plenty ...more
This is more like an essay than a review, I’m afraid, but it’s what I could come up with…
I’ve tried to write this review a couple times now, and I am in despair over it because Fire and Hemlock is simply too vast and… well, as Eleanor Cameron said (of a different book) in The Green and Burning Tree: On the Writing and Enjoyment of Children's Books, it is “a wild, glimmering, shadowed, elusive kind of book.” T ...more
The story opens when ten-year-old Polly stumbles into a funeral at a grand and mysterious Hunden House while playing with her friend Nina in their neighborhood. She is mistaken for a mourner and stuck sitting through the read ...more
For Diana Wynne Jones's official autobiography, please see http://www.leemac.freeserve.co.uk/aut...