Fire and Hemlock
Why this book?
Diana Wynne Jones was a wonderful woman who always responded to my questions in a tidy hand, delighting a little boy who had made himself an author pen-pal. When a twelve-year-old Brian begged for a copy of her Fire and Hemlock—my library suffered a flood and its copy, lost—the best she could procure for the out-of-print book was a solitary copy she possessed… in Japanese. Our correspondence lasted several letters, topics ranging the gamut from life in England, the University of Oxford, and writing in general. It’s a retelling of the Scottish ballad, “Tam Lin,” and stars a strong female protagonist and an elegant take on magical realism.