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Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

Fire and Hemlock (original 1985; edition 2000)

by Diana Wynne Jones (Author), David Wyatt (Illustrator)

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1,649474,367 (4.09)129

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English (46)  Finnish (1)  All (47)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Did I understand everything the first time I read it? Probably not. Last time I read it I was aware of so many subtleties I hadn't gotten when I was younger. I think if I read it again there would still be so much I would be aware of for the first time. The construction of this book is brilliant and I would recommend this to every imaginative person, young or old. I can't be sure when I read it--I just remember taking every Diana Wynne Jones book I could get my hands on out of the library once I'd discovered her with no idea of the timeline any longer. I love this book. I want to own it, but I only want the library's edition, pictured here. I do this a lot. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
This book is interesting, but I have a feeling that with the slump overwhelming me when I finished, as if I had no clue how the story had ever come to this, then I need to re-read this. Maybe if I do that, then I will come to a better understanding.

As such, I will not be leaving a review until I've come back to the book. ( )
  CatKin026 | Sep 18, 2016 |
So, we've got a bit of [b:Tam Lin|122096|Tam Lin|Jane Yolen|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1223645164s/122096.jpg|1042178] and a bit of [b:The Time Traveler's Wife|14050|The Time Traveler's Wife|Audrey Niffenegger|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1274656075s/14050.jpg|2153746] going on here? I'd love to read this, but I don't quite feel like it belongs on my wishlist. And it's not in CLAN. So, somebody will have to encourage me to seek it out. ;)
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
The best fantasy I've read in some time. I was absolutely captivated. The characters she's created, the world, the plot--it all weaves together in a truly wonderful piece of fiction. The novel tells the story of Polly, who slowly pieces together the clues of her missing memory. Her friendship with the strange Mr. Lynn feels absolutely true, from their "let's pretend" games to his comments on her writing. PERFECTION. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
At the age of seven, Polly accidentally wanders into a funeral and meets Thomas Lynn, a professional cellist who become intertwined in her life and emotions, both as the father figure that Polly, the child of a broken home, needs - and later - it seems - as the recipient of a teenage crush.

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. Other things in her memory seem to be evidence of other discrepancies... is she going crazy? Or is something more sinister at work?

Remembering, she uncovers a bizarre network of plots and influence that all seems to center on "That House" where she saw the funeral, and the wealthy and strange family that inhabits it.

This is an ambitious and complicated book, and by far the darkest I've read by Jones, as she brings the Tam Lin legend into 1980's Britain. It's a YA book, but deals with difficult themes such as neglectful parents and relationships with both older men and pushy peers in a tasteful but emotionally unflinching way.
Although it's written in a very subtle way (nothing at all obviously supernatural or occult happens for nearly half the book), it's a tense, compelling read - hard to put down.
However, the end, where Polly finally uncovers the truth, and discovers what she must do, is very confusing - and, from reading other reviews, I'm not the only one to find it so.
We are told that Polly has figured out her course of action from reading about Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer, but we aren't told exactly *what* she read, so her strange, logically-backward approach is rather mysterious. The reader just kinda has to say, "Okay, I guess that made sense for some reason.... not sure why! ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Wynne Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beekman, DougCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nix, GarthIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Viitanen, Anna-MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zudeck, DarrylCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

References to this work on external resources.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006447352X, Mass Market Paperback)

Polly has two sets of memories...

One is normal: school, home, friends. The other, stranger memories begin nine years ago, when she was ten and gate-crashed an odd funeral in the mansion near her grandmother's house. Polly's just beginning to recall the sometimes marvelous, sometimes frightening adventures she embarked on with Tom Lynn after that. And then she did something terrible, and everything changed.

But what did she do? Why can't she remember? Polly must uncover the secret, or her true love -- and perhaps Polly herself -- will be lost.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:22 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

At nineteen, Polly has two sets of sometimes overlapping, sometimes conflicting memories, the real-life ones of school days and her parents' divorce, and the heroic adventure ones that began the day she accidentally gate-crashed a funeral and met the cellist Thomas Lynn.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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