How many go-to books do you have? I… seem to have far too many. Including today’s recommendation: Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones.
I’ve loved this book since I was a kid, and I’ve reread it every couple of years. I went back to it again a few weeks ago, when I was feeling down and needed something to perk me up.
It worked perfectly.
But then, I knew it would. Howl’s Moving Castle is one of those novels that’s funny, heart-warming, exciting, and magical. If you haven’t read it yet, or if you haven’t read it in a long time, you need to move it to the next spot on your list.
After Sophie is cursed by a witch, she sets off to find what fortune she can, though she isn’t expecting much. Until she comes across the wizard Howl’s castle. Inside she finds the demon Calcifer, who offers to break her curse if she breaks his deal with Howl. Suddenly, Sophie’s fortune might be greater than she could have possibly imagined.
Like I already said, there are a lot of things to love about Howl’s Moving Castle: the plot, the characters, the setting… just, everything. Which is why I’ve read this novel more times than I can count.
There’s another element that needs to be added to that list, though. The voice in this book is amazing. While it’s simple, there’s also something lyrical about it. It’s perfectly suited to the novel’s plot and characters—to its world as a whole.
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.