Monday, October 11, 2010

RIP Read #16: The Time of the Ghost

Another of Diana Wynne Jones' out of print books is 1981's The Time of the Ghost.  Luckily I found a used copy a few months ago and I saved it for the RIP Challenge.  It turned out to be even more appropriate than I thought it would be.

A ghost appears in a field, outside of what appears to be a boarding school, but she has no memory of who she is or how she is connected to the place.  As she visits the school, she starts having feelings of familiarity even though she isn't remembering much.  She thinks the three girls living in the back of the boarding school may be her sisters but she's not sure.  The one thing she is sure of is that danger is coming from an unexpected place (and time) and she's the only one who can stop it.

I don't have a copy with this cover but I think that it represents the story better than the cover I have.  There's an ancient evil force that scared the bejeezus out of me.  The story was a bit patchy and uneven and it was hard to tell where it was going.  Also the characters were strange and somewhat violent (especially the parents) and it made it hard to connect with.  This is definitely a book for Diana Wynne Jones fans and not a good place to start with her catalogue.  That said, I enjoyed it and thought some of the twists were well done.

Keeping the lights on,

We bought our own copy of this book.


  1. I love that cover. Mine's a US edition from the 1980s, and the cover's not so great.

    Wasn't Monigan terrifying? I think she's easily the scariest of Diana Wynne Jones's villains. Even when I reread it this most recent time, which had to be my twelfth time rereading it (in part or in full), I was petrified of Monigan.

  2. The cover is a totally freaky! And the story line sounds kind of cool. But perhaps the writing didn't quite live up to the promise of your description and the cover. Sounds almost like "The Lovely Bones" with but with amnesia!

  3. Okay, I seriously am missing out on this author! Gotta check her out SOON!!!!

  4. Jenny - Yeah, I have the ghosty girl one. I like this one better too. If I come across it one day, I may trade out my copy. And Monigan was awful! The link to the doll made her even worse.

    Jenners - It's got a lot of darkness in this one but of course not over the top because it's a youth book. And it has a twist that makes it a lot freakier than The Lovely Bones!

    Tif - Um, yeah you do. ;) I'm moments away from making you a DWJ care package!

  5. Seriously, I have never felt like I've been missing out on something like I do with this author! :)

  6. I haven't heard of this book by her. It looks good, though. I will have to keep it in mind!