In Cranbury-on-Sea Aunt Maria rules with a rod of sweetness far tougher than iron and deadlier than poison. Strange and awful things keep happening in Cranbury. Why are all the men apparently gray-suited zombies? Why do all the children -- if you ever see them -- behave like clones? And what has happened to Mig's brother, Chris? Could gentle, civilized Aunt Maria, with her...more
Ako ste ikada imali blizak dodir sa pasivno-agresivnom osobom od koje niste mogli da pobegnete glavom bez obzira jer vam je neki rod - u strina-Mariji ćete je prepoznati u roku od prve dve-tri strane. Još toliko i roman koji je počeo k ...more
Old Aunt Maria's ...more
I think because my edition has an awful, awful cover, I didn't like this book when I first read it, years and years ago. This was only the second time I've read it, and naturally it was very good. Not one of her best, I think, but DWJ's worst is better than, I would say, pretty much all of the children's literature being published today.
1. First thing’s first: Time travel! There was a bit of time travel near the end of the book, which was SUPER awesome! I will not say anything more about it, but suffice to say that it was fabulous.
2. It’s told in first person by Mig, a girl who likes to write (kindred soul!). She tells us the story in her journal. I don’t always care for first-person, but I really liked how it was her journal! It gave the story such an immediate feeling and all the descriptions e ...more
I initially thought of just letting that be my review, but that wouldn't really help someone who hasn't read this book with this cover. If you have, then you know it's rather like seeing a poster for The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue used as the cover of Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. I prefer the demented version of the titular character from the German version, but I digress.
Mig, her brother Chris, and their mum are poli ...more
Wynne Jones has always been someone whose books I've liked and Black Maria is no exception. She builds her characters well. I could clearly see Mig and her family. Mig always trying for a happy ending even if her idea of a happy ending is not the same as that of the p ...more
However, the story has dated a little. I think one of the problems is that Wynne-Jones has decided to deal with "issues" - fatal, really. Briefly to explain, the town has been divided along gender lines. The women are in co ...more
It soon becomes apparent that Maria is a master manipulator and loves nothing more than to have Mig and her family dancing attendance on her. And she is a queen bee ...more
A light but quality read. It may be even sufficiently characterized by all things that it is not:
* for children, but not dumbed down
* first-person, but not Mary Sue
* taking on the gender difference question and not muffing it
* using magic, but not as a plot device or totally withou ...more
In Cranbury-on-Sea Aunt Maria rules with a rod of sweetness far tougher than iron and deadlier than poison. Strange and awful things keep happening in Cranbury. Why are all the men apparently gray-suited zombies? Why do all the children -- if you ever see them -- behave like clones? And what has happened to Mig's brother, Chris? Could gentle, civilized Aunt Maria, with her talk and daily...more
The beginning and middle of this book really had my heart--a real page-turner. The characters' plight is gripping, and Aunt Maria is the most hateful villain I've had the pleasure of reading. The main characters are very self-determined when they get motivated. When the mother stops remembering her own son, my heart was broken. But the ending felt horribly ...more
I first read this one one before I was obsessed with Diana Wynne ...more
Compared to Fire and Hemlock, Aunt Maria wraps up nicely in the end, but DWJ does tend to leave her endings a bit open, ambiguous, and not completely happy. Th ...more
Very good! One of her shorter books, it's sat in my bookshelf for years and I'm not sure if I've read it before. Horribly exciting and magic and a little nerve wracking because I kept expecting everyone to die.
Maria made me was to punch something. Teddy-bearish my foot.
I hated the boys versus girls thing, though. Mostly because Mig just wanted to help and Mr. Phelps was such an a-hole to h ...more
That said, this was not one of my favorite books of Diana Wynne Jones. I found one of the plot elements difficult to accept and that threw a wrench into my enjoyment. On the other hand, DWJ requires careful reading, so I very well may have missed an important clue.
DWJ is always fun, we ...more
Mig (Naomi Margaret Laker) journals Easter visit to expert guilt-manipulator Great Aunt Maria in Cranbury, where Dad Greg drove off cliff. Mig seems 8-11, submissive, tearful. One of the funniest passages is her as a kitten "w ...more