Having not seen the movie, I wasn't sure what to expect of this book--in fact, I thought that, like Spirited Away, it would start out in our world and move into a fantasy world. I was delighted to find that it was the other way around! (Okay, I won't give too much away--but it does take place partially in our world.) The main character, Sophie, is the eldest of three, and in this fairytale world, that means she's sure to amount to nothing. And in fact it seems to have disastrous consequences when the Witch of the Waste comes and puts a curse on her for no apparent reason. But Sophie sets out to seek her fortune, and finds one quite unexpected and fun.
This book was quite an enjoyable read. There were a few plot holes, or at least spots where the story didn't seem to quite follow its own logic, and parts of the story were rather predictable, but I enjoyed it all the same. The characters especially were fantastic. I particularly admire Diana Wynne Jones' ability to create a character--Howl--who is both extremely flamboyant and inarguably heterosexual!
6 hours ago