A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{December 24, 2010}   Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones

Plot: Cat’s sister Gwendolen is praised by all as a magnificent witch but he can’t do the least bit of magic. In spite of this, in spite of the fact that they are orphans, he is content. But Gwendolen has bigger dreams. She writes the mysterious Chrestomanci and soon the siblings are invited to live with his family in his castle. But Chrestomanci’s plans for them are not what either of them expects.

The first thing I have to say is that Gwendolen Chant is the most horrible little girl I have ever encountered. And though I would hate to live with her, I loved to read her. It takes skill to write someone that hateful and believable at the same time.

Diana Wynne Jones’ novels are just magical and I think everyone should read them. Like Howl’s Moving Castle, this story is original, well written and well plotted. It is also full of surprises. You see this world through Cat’s eyes, you realize the truth about people as he does and as a result you feel both his wonder and his pain. I look forward to more.


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