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Fire and Hemlock Hardcover – 1 May 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 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: 15.2 x 3.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,293,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

?Complex . . . subtle . . . compelling reading.?ALA Booklist ?[Polly?s] relationship with Tom Lynn is daringly conceived, delicately shaped and unfailingly fascinating.?The Times Literary Supplement (London) ?The novel examines the nature of heroism and love . . . a reverberant composition.?The Horn Book

"A haunting, thought-provoking story." - "School Library Journal", starred review

Complex . . . subtle . . . compelling reading. "ALA Booklist"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
I stayed out at lunch an extra quarter of an hour today to finish this book, and read so hard I think I've given myself a headache! You know when your heart is in your mouth and you know you are reading too fast to take in all the details properly, but just NEED to find out what happens? What I immediately wanted to do was to start at least the final section again, as it needs close attention. (If you recognise the above feelings, then you will be delighted by the heroine's similar behaviour after receiving a parcel of paperbacks for Christmas! The author lists many books Polly reads and this literary journey turns out to be important.)
Not many writers would have the courage needed to portray a heroine right from age ten to nineteen in one book, but Diana Wynne Jones has the skill to show all the subtle ways in which Polly changes. I have always tried to search out novels containing 'rights of passage' themes, but this is the most realistic description I've read of the awkwardness of teenage years getting in the way of a girl's true, strong nature, which wins out in the end. Polly suffers a lot of heartache from her parents' marriage breakup and subsequent bad relationships. This both isolates her and throws her onto the company of her sensible grandmother, who knows more than Polly thinks about the dark secrets of Hunsdon House. But she really has to think for herself and keep on her toes to defeat the truly sinister evil characters.
As well as wanting to reread this book to explore its world more thoroughly, I hope you will want, like me, to seek out the old ballads whose words and meanings are woven throughout the story. And was the photograph a real one that the author had seen; did it inspire the whole book?
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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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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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