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Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones
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Fire and Hemlock (original 1985; edition 2000)

by Diana Wynne Jones, David Wyatt (Illustrator)

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English (41)  Finnish (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
I never bought into the setup: for one thing, I found the age difference distracting and kinda creepy. Jones had some nice touches of the sinister. Ironically, Jones (and others) apparently considered this book one of her best. Gave this book away, as at the time I could not stomach the thought of reading it again. Now that I've learned Jones was so proud of it, I'd almost like to read it again to figure out why. Almost. ( )
  ALisette | Jun 1, 2015 |
It seemed so unlikely that I hadn't read this book, but I couldn't remember it, and reading it now it felt like the first time. There are lots of DWJ tropes, including the fact that it is the slightly problematic story of 'Man meets small child, man needs small child to save his life, man grooms small child to love him, small child grows up, loves him, saves him, and they sail off into the sunset as a couple'. There is more self awareness that this isn't necessarily very nice than in many books, but it still is what it is. But oh, I couldn't put it down, and stayed up far too late to finish it. The relationships between Polly and her parents are particularly finely drawn, with a light touch but heartbreakingly spot on. ( )
  atreic | Oct 7, 2014 |
I stayed up past midnight to finish this marvelous book, and am still pondering it days later. It is full of symbols from ballads and medieval tales like Tam Lin, and even The Odyssey. The plot is haunting, confusing, sometimes creepy, sometimes muddled and very twisty in that special DWJ way, with an opaque ending that makes you want to start the book over again to recognize all the clues that she sprinkles throughout. Her use of names is very important, as well as what it means to be a hero in every-day life, but the book is also a story about a young girl growing up and being in love (despite the age difference). Reading her essay “The Heroic Ideal: A Personal Odyssey” in her book Reflections on the Magic of Writing, helps me to better understand it. I loved the character of Granny, I loved the classical music references (the “quartet” in more ways than one), and I loved the painting references. The reader learns things while she reads, but DWJ isn’t obvious about it. Final advice: Everyone should read this book. ( )
1 vote jennorthcoast | Jun 16, 2014 |
Finished this last night and my brain still aches! Even for a Diana Wynne Jones story this is incredibly convoluted, particularly the last section, and the ending still baffles me (I can see perfectly well what Polly and Tom end up doing, but am somewhat befuddled as to the whys). I did love all the talk about stories and the characters are extremely strong and vivid, even if some of the workings of the plot remain opaque. There are easier fantasy novels of Jones to start with, but this one will stay with me for a long while. ( )
1 vote bostonian71 | Jan 30, 2014 |
Rereading for the third (?) time. ( )
  tigerbuns | Jan 10, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Wynne Jonesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Viitanen, Anna-MaijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zudeck, DarrylCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Polly sighed and laid her book face down on the bed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

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