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Fire and Hemlock Hardcover – May 2002


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Hardcover, May 2002
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060298855
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060298852
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.8 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,044,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Diana Wynne Jones is recognised internationally as a major writer of fantasy and in 2007 received a LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD at the World Fantasy Convention. She has also won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award (twice) and the Guardian Award for CHARMED LIFE. Her books have been translated into more than eighteen languages, and her novel HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE was made into an animated film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. Diana lives in Bristol with her husband, a professor of Early English literature.

Product Description

Review

“…Her hallmarks include laugh-aloud humour, plenty of magic and imaginative array of alternate worlds. Yet, at the same time, a great seriousness is present in all of her novels, a sense of urgency that links Jones’s most outrageous plots to her readers’ hopes and fears…”
Publishers Weekly

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Polly has always loved the fire and hemlock photograph, which hangs, above her bed, with its suggestion of mysterious dark figures and undiscovered secrets.

But now, it sparks memories in her that don's seem to exist any more. Memories of Thomas Lynn, who became her greatest friend… Memories of the stories they made up together – adventures in which Tom is a great hero and Polly is his assistant… Memories that these adventures had a nasty habit of coming true…

What has happened in the years between' Why has Tom been erased from Polly's mind, and form the rest of the world as well? And why is Polly so sure that she must have done something dreadful? Determined to uncover the awful truth, she casts her mind back ten years to when it all started .At the funeral…

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Polly sighed and laid her book face down on her bed. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Bayabos on 8 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
The first time I set eyes on this book was when my mother told me to buy it one day. I didn't think much of it at first but as soon as I started reading it, I was absolutely engrossed and stuck on it for a whole day.
It has got to be one of the most beautiful novels I have read in a long time, and the way Diana Wynn Jones writes it so intricately where everything is described in such detail, is such a wonder. It starts out when Polly, a nineteen year old girl, reads a book she is sure was written by a few friends she had met years ago, only to find that their names have completely been erased from it.
She then tries to figure out why she has double memories of each event that took place and which are very important and this brings her on a journey to the past nine years ago on Halloween where she met her lifelong friend, Thomas Lynn.
Together they mae up stories of heroes, giants, horses and other fun dreatures but unfortunately, these come true and that is where the horror starts. Polly later tries to remember what she did wrong and why Tomas Lynn was erased from her memory and what dark secret is behind those double memories.
All in all, it is a marvelous novel and I promise you, head to the nearest and most quiet cafe with this book and by the time you start the first page, you'll be longing for more.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jan Jones on 30 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
This is my very favourite Diana Wynne Jones book. It starts off deceptively simply, but Diana Wynne Jones slides in layers of complexity with such dexterity that you are soon deep in an old, old magic which has potentially horrifying consequences for Polly, the heroine, and Tom, the hero. I love the unfolding of the story, the gathering knowledge of evil and the incredibly subtle love story. I could - and have - read it over and over again. Each time I get to the end I want to cheer and cry and wish it had gone on longer. Definitely my book for a desert island. Very highly recommended.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 May 2001
Format: Paperback
Isn't life strange? Diana Wynne Jones has been writing excellent, subtle and thoughtful fantasy fiction for both a younger audience and adults for, well, a while, and yet and yet it is Harry Potter not Christopher Chant who has the merchandising deals.. now I have got that out of the way, I can say, this book is well worth the effort. It requires the reader to really engage with the book but the reward is to feel the depth and reality of the characters. It is the kind of book that does not quite leave you once you have read it - you go back and read it again and discover it is darker, deeper and more magical than you remembered. It is book about forgetting, about love and the power of myth. It is a book about a car, a horse, a girl and a quartet. It is about train journeys that end where they began and about the importance of believing in the person you love. I recommend it to you - only, be warned. I read one Diana Wynne Jones novel and ended up buying pretty much most of her work..
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 May 2000
Format: Paperback
The story of a girl's attempt to remember her true self resonates on many levels. Chilling and exhilarating by turns, Fire and Hemlock is a great read. In fact when I finished it I started immediately to reread the last section, found myself sampling back then just decided to start again. Having discovered Diana Wynne Jones while searching for more interesting replacements for Harry Potter to give my son, I am now hooked. The characters are interesting, sympathetic and convincing. The language is lovely, full of humor. The story is a little complicated for younger kids, but will repay the attention it requires from older kids and adults. Worth many reads!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By tiggycat on 6 Nov. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the first DWJ novel I read. It started my looking further for other books by the writer.

Based upon the fairytale Tam Lin - here is a novel for teens full of feelings and emotions that mean something. The heroine as a child walks into (gatecrashes) a funeral and meets the hero Thomas Lynn who makes his mark on her life by regularly sending her books which inspire her into her future university degree course. As she grows older he grows younger, until they meet as adults when the magic becomes essential to saving his life.

I love this story. This is how magic was meant to be. The scenes of deja vu seem familiar. We have all experienced such magic at some time or another. The age gap that narrows is wonderfully expressed.

I believe this is a great book and worthy read for anyone who loves magic and fantasy. I especially love the teapot car- the magic horse- and the deja vu sequences. Read and enjoy- may this read lead adults to more DWJ books, and teens to finding magic in literature and life. May it lead you back to the world of her other books- all uniquely different
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Reeds on 28 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
What I love the most about Fire and Hemlock is that the story works on so many different levels. At its simplest it tells the story of a friendship which exists against the odds (those odds coming in the sinister form of the Leroys). It is also a reworking/reimagination of a Scottish ballad called Tam Lin - a dark faery tale. At its deepest, Fire and Hemlock is a wonderful love story that slowly and subtly develops.

Very brief and simple synopsis (which does the book no real justice!): After accidentally gatecrashing a funeral at Hunsdon House, 10 year old Polly meets Tom Lynne. The two quickly form a very strong friendship; a friendship that Tom's ex-wife and her husband try to thwart at every turn. However, through various means of trickery, the friendship survives and blossoms. Tom is there for Polly as she grows up - acting as a friend and substituting for her (rather useless) parents. Together, Tom and Polly make up stories of how Tom is a hero and Polly his assistance. Eerily, the stories have a nasty habit of coming to life. But why are the Leroys and Laurel trying to prevent Tom from seeing Polly? Shortly after Polly turns 15 and confronts Tom about this, Tom and all memories of him are rather mysteriously wiped from her mind...that is until 4 years later. Now at the age of 19, Polly sets about trying to find out why her greatest friend and all memories of him have disappeared.

Fire and Hemlock is by no means a simple story. It is complex, subtle and beautiful. I have read it several times and each time I have come across something new in the narrative. A real gem.
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