you can tell them you’re a Homeward Bounder*

My mum died last month. It has not been the greatest month ever, nor the best three years or so, for her or us, before that.

It’s better for her: she was, to put it mildly, absolutely fed up with being ill and weak and barred from all of the little pleasures that made life worth living for her – mostly a drink at the pub, and a round robin put on at the bookies’, watching grim Brit crime dramas and hanging out with her sprightly middle-aged sprigs of offspring.

I’m not sure it’s better for us: I know it’s better for my mum not to suffer anymore, but all the same, I miss my mum. I was always Mummy’s girl, perhaps because she suffered an injury when I was a toddler that meant I had limited access to her for a while, which is hard for a small child to understand. I remember being tiny and pounding on the loo door in terror when she answered a call of nature, because being separated from her even for a minute or two was terrifying.

I miss her. I’m not weeping, not incapacitated, I go on with my daily life. But I miss her, all the time.

I will also note that, when I pop off this mortal coil myself, and rock up at the Pearly Gates, I’m planning on tossing away St. Peter’s guest list, storming the gates, and punching God in the face. For how she suffered, in those last weeks and months.  It’s not acceptable to me. The point needs to be made.

I think I’ll get a free pass. I think he’ll understand. He’d better.

* From The Homeward Bounders, Diana Wynne Jones.

What I’ve been reviewin’ – Wilkins’ Tooth by Diana Wynne Jones

Wilkins' ToothWilkins’ Tooth by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A charmingly daft, deft, graceful early work. The workaround for swearing is hilarious! And beware, the Big Bad is actually quite scary. A darling of a read, and ought to be as celebrated as many of her other great works.

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What I’ve been reviewin’ – Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones


Witch Week (Chrestomanci, #3)Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good fun, but it’s like observing the characters through glass – there’s less emotional attachment than in the other Chrestomanci books, for me.

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image – bird flew on Flickr, licence

What I’ve been reviewin’ lately – Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones


DogsbodyDogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is not just an all-time classic kids’ book. It’s an all-time classic, a book worth deifying, a touchstone of our culture, full stop.

The poignancy and truth in how DWJ expresses love and letting go – well. She is a nonpareil.

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image – Victor Sounds on Flickr, licence

What I’ve been reviewin’ lately – A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones



A Tale of Time CityA Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

As Diana Wynne Jones books go, this is one. That’s a recommendation of sorts, but there are much better places to start with her work.

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image – licence

What I’ve been reviewin’ – Archer’s Goon by Diana Wynne Jones


Archer's GoonArcher’s Goon by Diana Wynne Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautiful, and nutty, and perhaps the most full-on bonkers kids’ book I have ever read. Any adult should be proud to stand it on their bookshelves.

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image – Rachel Andrew on Flickr licence