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on 16 May 2006
Highly original "comming of age" story about Haley, the uncureable tomboy who calls herself "flash jackson". The first part of the book deals with Haley and her life with her widowed mother in a small american farmer town. Haley fighting to be herself, for the right to be a "wild one", her mother trying to make her a proper lady. Then a mysterious new neighbour shows up and captures Haley's interest. Life seems perfect for a little while, before disaster strikes and Haley realizes she can never again be the person she was. She needs to change, she wants to change. To do this she moves into the dark woods, where her Grandmother lives all by herself. No electricity, no running water. Back to basics, her granny is in fact a witch, a hag. Trusted to heal the town for as long as anyone can remember. Haley goes to her to learn the tricks of the trade so to speak. In the end she learns a lot more than she bargained for. And grows from tomboy to extrodinary woman!

The best book I've read in a very very long time.
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on 30 July 2006
Highly original "comming of age" story about Haley, the uncureable tomboy who calls herself "flash jackson". The first part of the book deals with Haley and her life with her widowed mother in a small american farmer town. Haley fighting to be herself, for the right to be a "wild one", her mother trying to make her a proper lady. Then a mysterious new neighbour shows up and captures Haley's interest. Life seems perfect for a little while, before disaster strikes and Haley realizes she can never again be the person she was. She needs to change, she wants to change. To do this she moves into the dark woods, where her Grandmother lives all by herself. No electricity, no running water. Back to basics, her granny is in fact a witch, a hag. Trusted to heal the town for as long as anyone can remember. Haley goes to her to learn the tricks of the trade so to speak. In the end she learns a lot more than she bargained for. And grows from tomboy to extrodinary woman!

The best book I've read in a very very long time.
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on 30 June 2003
Thoroughly disappointing! I very much enjoyed reading Eddie's Bastard but I doubt I will read another of Kowalski's books. He is all over the place with this one and really struggles writing from a girl's perspective. The narrator is a 25 year old woman who tells us of her "coming of age" when she is 17 and breaks her leg. What I found most frustrating was how the narrator sounds like the 17 year old she is describing, as if she herself never grew up. And then half way through the book the narrative ages...where was the editor??
The other major aggravation was the characterisation. Her mother is too stupid for words, and simply doesn't deserve a daughter like Haley. And while she spends a great deal of time trying to involve the various eccentric neighbours you begin to wonder if they are really necessary to the plot. Miz Powell is simply too unreal to believe. A spy and a witch...please??
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on 24 September 2015
Brilliant book.
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