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Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of her very best, 18 Jun. 2007
This review is from: The Time of the Ghost (Paperback)
I'm a fan of Diana Wynne Jones and this book is one of her strongest and strangest. She writes for several different age groups (all her books are entertaining for adults): this one is probably for teens and up, because it is among her more complex and emotionally demanding works. My favourite Diana Wynne Jones books have a trick of picking themselves up and shaking themselves so that matters turn out to be wholly different from how you first thought they were. Hexwood, Archer's Goon, and Fire and Hemlock, as well as The Time of the Ghost, all do this supremely well. There is a tremendous pleasure in tracing such bravura plotting and in the imaginative detective work needed to work out the rules of each fictional world, but a particular view of character and moral development also emerges: DWJ's characters find out startling things about themselves and about each other, suddenly perceiving new viewpoints and sometimes changing as suddenly. The Time of the Ghost juxtaposes members of a disfunctional family with their older selves, showing how immensely they have changed but also showing how bad early choices - choices about personal relationships as much as about the supernatural side of things - have continued to hurt them. The book offers a wonderfully complicated plot and a powerful, dark atmosphere but also emotional truth. Highly recommended.
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Location: Trinity College, Dublin

Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,652,388