Fire and Hemlock

I have read a pretty significant percentage of widely beloknown/beloved children’s books, at least in the Fantasy/Sci Fi arena. (I remember thinking “realistic” books were mostly about Family Troubles and Eating Disorders and I would way rather read about Magic and Adventures.) But somehow I never quite got to Diana Wynne Jones and I see so much internet love for her books that I had to give her a shot.

So I got Fire and Hemlock from the library and got reading. It begins when Polly is reading a book at her Granny’s house and realizes she has Mysterious Forgotten Memories. I’ve always hated the Memory Wipe plot device because it just seems like cheating. I have to admit, though, that if I had that power I would use it regularly and y’all would forget about that time I snorted beer out my nose. And I always wondered if perhaps I might have had some exciting adventures that were magically removed from my mind, because how could you prove that didn’t happen?

While I was pretty psyched that Polly gets back her buried memories, for about the first third I thought “eh, Internet Hype Machine, you’ve oversold this one.” Because the Secret Memories are mostly about a man she befriended and how he sent her books, which is nice and all but hardly seems worthy of a Memory Wipe. Towards the end, though, it got much cooler and of course there is more going on than just parcels of books. Actually, I’m still musing about the end.

Also, I’m at my parents’ house this weekend. I may go look through some of my old books and see if I can uncover any Secret Hidden Memories.

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2 Responses to Fire and Hemlock

  1. Okay, I will just say this: Jenny’s Law (someone named it after me! hooray!) states that Diana Wynne Jones is better on a reread. And of all the books of hers that get better and better the more you reread them, Fire and Hemlock is the one that gets the betterest. So that is just FYI. Also, please read more of her books, she is awesome. Archer’s Goon is very good and so is Deep Secret and also The Homeward Bounders, but really anything of hers. And if you ever don’t like one of her books, I absolutely promise it gets better on a reread.

  2. I’ll keep this in mind. I did warm up to it as I got farther in and will read some more of her stuff.

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