Title: Enchanted Glass
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Andrew Hope has inherited Melstone House from his grandfather, along with enough money that he hopes to finally get a chance to pen the book he’s always wanted to write. But Andrew figured without a lot of things, the biggest of which is Aidan Cain, a young boy with supernatural troubles. Add in two tyrannical servants, a host of supernatural creatures, and all the things his grandfather forgot to tell him about his field-of-care, and the absentminded Professor Hope suddenly has far too much competition for his attention.
It would take far too long to list everything I liked about this book. The cast of characters is enormous, and everybody has somebody (or several somebodies) that they don’t get along with, and for such a short book there’s a remarkably complex web of relationships. Andrew sits at the locus of this web, though he’s by no means in control. The plot corkscrews into zanier and zanier directions, like the introduction of most of the major players of Faerie (the fate of Titania delighted me immensely). And it all culminates in a very satisfying brawl in which nothing works the way it should but everything works out regardless.
It’s such a funny read, too. For example, Melstone House is tended by Mr. Stock, the groundsman (and the garden is the only thing he wants to do), and Mrs. Stock, the housekeeper/cook. They just happen to have the same name, and absolutely hate each other. They tolerate Andrew poorly, and every time he does something they dislike, they exact revenge. And yet despite the lighthearted tone, the story doesn’t dance around some of the nastier issues of life (like the circumstances of Aidan’s birth).
My sole regret is that there isn’t a sequel. The story ends well, but there’s so much potential for more that it leads to endless daydreams. This is an easy read and one adults and children alike can enjoy. I rate this book Highly Recommended.