Lots of stuff to love here, and I did really like it. I never quite connected with Celia and Marco, though. For me, the most swoony character is HerrLots of stuff to love here, and I did really like it. I never quite connected with Celia and Marco, though. For me, the most swoony character is Herr Thiessen. I like Mr. Barris, too. Marco? Eh....more
In her introduction Joan Aiken's daughter, Lizza, says, "Thanks to an extraordinarily wide range of reading in her early years, and her belief in theIn her introduction Joan Aiken's daughter, Lizza, says, "Thanks to an extraordinarily wide range of reading in her early years, and her belief in the benefits of a powerful imagination, Joan was prepared for almost anything. Brought up on a diet of Dickens, Dumas, Austen, and the Brontes, Kipling, Stevenson, Nesbitt, Trollope, Scott, Victor Hugo, and many, many more, she was equipped, like the hero of a myth, with the tools, or in her case, the imaginative power, to meet any contingency . . . ."
INDEED! I read several of these stories at nightfall. I'd finish a story, look up, and *poof* it would be dark outside. Each time, I'd get so engrossed in the story that time passed unnoticed. These stories are THAT good.
Although I really, really like them all, two stories are my special favorites. One is the title story: "The Serial Garden." Oh! The ending! The other is "The Ghostly Governess," where Harriet discovers Miss Allison, a Victorian era governess, haunting the house the Armitage family had taken "for August." The idea--a Victorian era governess teaching modern children Latin prepositions in the middle of the night--just thrills me.
The first Armitage story, "Yes, but Today is Tuesday" was sold to the BBC Children's Hour programme in 1944. All of the stories here have that 1940s-50s feel to them, and they are all splendid...more
Is Among Others my favorite book? Well, not sure about that--but it certainly is a contender. The narrator, Mori, is the kind of girl I am now. She'sIs Among Others my favorite book? Well, not sure about that--but it certainly is a contender. The narrator, Mori, is the kind of girl I am now. She's the kind of girl I wish I could have been back when I was 15--if I'd have had more guts. Mori says, "I normally read now in the early morning if I wake before the bell, for the three hours of compulsory games, during any boring classes, in prep after I've finished my prep, in the half-hour free time after prep, and for the half hour we're allowed in bed before lights out. So I'm getting through a couple of books most days." Now, that's good stuff.
Among Others also raises what I see as important questions about magic. I'm honestly not sure if magic is out there in the world. You know, it just might be. Did Mori use magic to make a karass? I think she did. But, I think all close relationships have a little magic sprinkled on them. How else is it even possible that people fall in "like" with each other. Even if Mori created the book club as a karass, who is to say that all relationships don't have a touch of magic in them. You're going about your life, then one day, one moment--enter stage left--is this person. This person, your close friend. And, really, if that isn't magic, what is?...more