Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed the film I, Daniel Blake and shared my theme reveal (UK & Ireland) for the A to Z Challenge. Gaele reviewed three books, all with at least a bit of mystery: The Girl in the Photograph is the third of the Rosetti Mystery series, The Unforgotten is a debut novel by author Laura Powell, and the 1950s classic British mystery Coffin Scarcely Used. Jean re-read The Wonderful Garden by E. Nesbit. She also shared Craeft, a book by an archaeologist who attempts the old crafts, like roof-thatching, to see if he can do it and if they still have relevance today. Tina reviewed Seven Days of Us about a dysfunctional family at Christmas. Sim shared details and gossip about the upcoming BBC mini-series, Ordeal by Innocence. Becky reviewed a children’s book, with a delightful cover, called Old Hat.
Book: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Genre: Teen Fiction
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication date: 2012, originally published in 1986
Source: Library e-book
Summary: Sophie Hatter is the eldest sister. In her world being the eldest means that she will never amount to much. Her youngest sister stands the best chance at gaining her fortune, so Sophie grooms her for the job and resigns herself to something less. Her story gets even worse, as these stories tend to, when her father dies in debt. Sophie has an unfortunate encounter with a witch and things deteriorate, and get more interesting, from there.
Thoughts: Howl’s Moving Castle is, mostly, set in a fantasy landscape. The story begins in Market Chipping which feels like a pre-industrial prosperous British village, with a bit of magic. The magic includes the appearance of a castle that moves around the edge of town. I don’t want to spoil anything, but watch for a couple of cameo appearances from a more mundane British place.
Jean of Howling Frog Books has been participating in March Magics this month, an annual event to celebrate the works of Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett. Since I’ve somehow managed to miss both authors, I wanted to read one this month.
Howl’s Moving Castle was a charming introduction to the work of Diana Wynne Jones. There are two more books set in this world for me to explore: Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways.
Has anyone seen the Japanese animated film that’s loosely based on Howl’s Moving Castle? Lauren Bacall provides one of the voices in the English-dubbed version.
Appeal: Howl’s Moving Castle has quirky, fun, flawed characters and a terrific fantasy world that feels like it might be one of the places where our stories live until someone is ready to tell them.
Challenges: Besides March Magics, this book counts as my third by a British author this year for the British Books Challenge.
Have you read this book? What did you think?