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Publisher's Summary

Polly has two sets of memories....

One is normal: school, home, friends. The other, stranger memories begin nine years ago, when she was 10 and gate-crashed an odd funeral in the mansion near her grandmother's house. Polly's just beginning to recall the sometimes marvelous, sometimes frightening adventures she embarked on with Tom Lynn after that. And then she did something terrible, and everything changed. 

But what did she do? Why can't she remember? Polly must uncover the secret, or her true love - and perhaps Polly herself - will be lost.

©1985 Diana Wynne Jones (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Fire and Hemlock

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Finally!!!

I have been waiting for this book to be made into an audible book! Diana Wynne Jones was such a wonderful writer! This book, if you've read it, you'll already know that she made it confusing at the end on purpose, so be ready to pay attention to minute details, and read "Thomas the Rhymer" and the ballad of "Tam Lin." Now I hope more of Diana's other novels like "Dogsbody," A Tale of Time City," and "The Time of the Ghost" get made into audible books. (Hopefully, all her books!)

11 people found this helpful

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At Last!

I adore Diana Wynne Joned, and I have been eagerly waiting for this particular book. It is fantastic, and I hope they do her Dalemark Quartet next. Wonderfully done!

4 people found this helpful

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Engrossing

At age nineteen, Polly suddenly discovers that she has two sets of memories, one false imposed on the true, and begins to puzzle it out, realizing that it has to do with her adult friend, Tom Lynn. Polly first met him when she accidentally gate-crashed a funeral at the age of ten. They stayed in touch through the years by letters and the books that Mr. Lynn sent. As Polly remembers, the reader is given the story of the ten years between the initial meeting and the present.

This complex fantasy, taking place in 1980s England, brings in elements of the traditional "Thomas the Rhymer" and "Tam Lin" tales to tell the story of Polly and Tom Lynn. Unfortunately, if the reader is unfamiliar with those old stories, much of the nuances, and even some of the salient points, are missed. Despite that, it's an engrossing novel, twisty and layered, and well-written with Jones' typical intelligence and imagination. My only reason for not giving it a full five stars is that I felt Polly's younger self displayed an unbelievable perspicacity. None the less, I recommend it unhesitating, but advise the reader to become familiar with the aforementioned British legends before starting.

A note on the narrator: Gemma Dawson has a pleasant voice, but tends to run sentences together or pause in mid-sentence, both of which interrupt the flow of the story and detract from the book as a whole.

2 people found this helpful

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perfection

this book was perfection to me :) I loved everything about it. I read both the story of Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer in advance as advised by a prior reviewer.

1 person found this helpful

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An old favorite

Great narration for a story I always love to go back to. I love the author and it's great to start getting her stories as audiobooks. The cover is a huge improvement from my old paperback copy too.

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