Summary: In which a witch bewitched the hatter's daughter - and then some....
Sophie lived in the town of Market Chipping, which was in Ingary, a land in which anything could happen, and often did - especially when the Witch of the Waste got her dander up. Which was often.
As her younger sisters set out to seek their fortunes, Sophie stayed in her father's hat shop. Which proved most unadventurous, until the Witch of the Waste came in to buy a bonnet, but was not pleased. Which is why she turned Sophie into an old lady. Which was spiteful witchery.
Now Sophie must seek her own fortune. Which means striking a bargain with the lecherous Wizard Howl. Which means entering his ever-moving castle, taming a blue fire-demon, and meeting the Witch of the Waste head-on. Which was more than Sophie bargained for...
Review: Two of my favorite all-time novels from my teen and pre-teen years were written by Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's Moving Castle and Fire and Hemlock. I feel compelled to re-read them every few years and was shocked when I realized that not only have I never reviewed them, but I've never reviewed any of the late Ms. Jones' books. These two books held the first protagonists I ever connected with on a personal level; I never knew books could do that. Diana Wynne Jones changed me from an avid reader into a voracious reader.
So perhaps I ascribe more to this than I ought to because it carries such fond memories, but to this day, it's one of my favorite reads.
Final Take: 5/5