(I hesitated about posting this, since Ana (who is without internet at the moment) was so curious about my experience of reading my first Diana Wynne Jones. However, the book seemed the perfect choice for today and I could always redirect Ana to this post later)
Book Blogger Appreciation Week asked us to post about a new treasure today, a book or genre that you have read because another blogger advised you to. I choose to write about my experience reading Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones.
Premise: Sophie Hatter is the oldest of three girls and soon realises that as the eldest she is doomed to be a failure. When her sisters leave home for apprenticeships, she stays on in her late father’s hat shop, believing that there is nothing better in store for her. However, an unhappy evil befalls her which makes her have to leave her certain future behind and seek refuge in the castle of the wizard Howl. Howl is a strange man and Sophie is soon caught up in his adventures..
A few months ago, I noticed that Jenny and Ana were talking on twitter about an author they loved and who was ill. I instantly became curious, both Jenny and Ana have impeccable taste in books. So a favourite author of them that I hadn’t heard of could only mean that I needed to start reading her. Sometime later, Jenny decided to host a Diana Wynne Jones Week on her blog. Due to the craziness of an impended 4-month move to Sweden, I couldn’t participate in this week, but Jenny’s and Ana’s enthusiasm for Jones’ books convinced me to read Howl’s Moving Castle. Even though Jenny said that if you loved Harry Potter, this book might be a perfect fit, I have to admit I was a little sceptical. I am not a big fantasy reader, although I am not at all sure why, and this looked like fantasy. A friendly way to start in the genre maybe, but not something I expected to fall in love with.
Boy, was I wrong. I read Howl’s Moving Castle a day after I had to say goodbye to my boyfriend for 4 months and I was in desperate need for a pick me up. This book was a perfect fit. It is light and entertaining, it’s full of humour but never too silly to make you just not care about anything that is happening. Actually, that description might make the book seem a lot less intelligent than it actually is, because to me it was more than just a pick me up. The plot is interesting and remains interesting, there are so many twist and turns and I admit that I saw none of them coming. And I know how sometimes a lot of twists and turns might make a messy end, but Diana Wynne Jones managed to tie everything up in such a satisfactory manner that all I can say is that I’m looking forward to reading many more of her books.
All I can say is, I can’t believe I doubted Jenny and Ana even for a second. And without them, I am sure I would never have read this book.