Enchanted Glass – Diana Wynne Jones

Suzie Eisfelder

This author is one of those people whose writing I treasure. Jones has the ability to take me straight into a world I would never have dreamed of. It is beautifully written and I find myself empathising with a number of the characters.

The premise of the story is that Andrew Hope’s grandfather has died. He’s a magician and while Andrew did know about this and about some of his grandfather’s work, he had forgotten many of the details. While he’s settling into the house and getting used to the eccentric staff Aidan Cain knocks on the door. He is a mystery that needs solving, he’s running from the Stalkers.

Jones has wonderful world building. I’ve seen it in all the books of hers I’ve read. They are defined clearly with the information scattered carefully throughout the book, Jones is a master at the art of ‘show, don’t tell’.

Mr Stock is the gardener. As with many other people living around and about he is rather eccentric. When he’s annoyed with Andrew he brings in boxes of veggies. You’d expect this to be a good thing, but Mr Stock is always planning for the next Fete, he wants to win the biggest (insert type of vegetable here). Some of these veggies are so big it’s hard for them to fit in the box. Andrew can’t possibly eat these, so he puts them on top of the house. Why? I’m not giving you spoilers, but it does pay to be nice to people.

Back to Mr Stock. He has a hat. The description of the hat is pretty evocative:

Mr Stock came first, in his hat as usual. Aiden was fascinated by Mr Stock’s hat. Perhaps it had once been a trilby sort of thing. It may once have even been a definite colour. Now it was more like something that had grown…

That is just part of the description. It shows that Mr Stock is careful with money as he keeps a hat for so long it probably no longer knows what sort of hat it was to begin with. And it’s like Mr Stock’s veggies, growing and growing into something other than what it was to begin with.

This book is filled with more descriptions which just make my heart sing. When I opened this book I sank directly into Jones’ world and totally relaxed. It’s the sort of thing that happens when a book is beautifully written and conceived. It’s written with children in mind rather than adults, that’s never stopped me. I read adult books as a child why shouldn’t I read children’s books as an adult? You’re welcome to answer that question in the comments.

If you’d like to buy this book for you or a child in your life you can do that right here.

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