Joan Aiken ¶ 5 reviewRom the Glebe Library years ago and still has its yellow cardboard filing card in an envelope glued inside the front cover Happily her books have all recently been re issued with fabulous new covers and so are easy to get hold of now It s difficult to exactly categorise Joan Aiken s work It s historical fiction with a Dickensian feel thanks to its brilliantly drawn characters both comic and villainous unusual names and dark atmospheric settings Her stories are fabulously inventive and often have surprising elements in them like unusual names and dark atmospheric settings Her stories are fabulously inventive and often have surprising elements in them like whales Some of the books have an alternative historical setting with Good King James III I ve never wholly clicked with Joan Aiken I think sometimes some of it stems from my preferences I like stories with a particular taste and style and frame I like being able to handle them and know what I m going to get and then being delighted in how my expectations are subverted Outfox me please I long for it But I think with Joan Aiken I m always struggling to understand trying to figure out what s going on and where it is and how I should feel about that This is no criticism it s a testament to her wild imagination and fiercely convincing world building Everything feels right and then suddenly off A mirror cracked A world remade and reshaped by somebody who is undoubtedly brilliant I am a little cowed by that I think and it s hard for me to find my place in the text And yet Midnight Is A Place is outstanding fierce rich full of detail but it s a detail that I chase after and never uite get hold of There s so much packed in this novel family history dramatic personal Change Hogs In Sewers hogs in sewers I ache for time to explore it to discover about this and that before being pulled away to study the other And again this is a testament to how good she is there s so much here whether it s the nuanced subtle details of character or the barely managed wilderness of the landscape or it s simply those hogs that roam the sewers that thread like an artery underneath the world But here s the thing sometimes it doesn t matter how I feel about
a book i can not be wholly comfortablebook I can not be wholly comfortable something but I can recognise how great it is I can recognise the mark of an author who is fine fine fine with her craft and I can understand how important this might be to somebody ust discovering what language is and what it can be shaped to be I would recommend this without batting an eyelid because it is good powerful bold fiction et aussi Chasing Rainbows j aime Anna Marie One of my favourite childhood authors. Ist nicht nur unfreundlich und völlig verzogen sondern auch noch ein französisches Mädchen Was soll er mit soemandem schon anfange. S they mature It was refreshing Joan Aiken is a master at creating atmosphere and Midnight Is a Place is no exception the book could well be called a Gothic novel for children with its orphaned hero and heroine disagreeable guardian mysterious events and gloomy set Although this entertaining Victorian melodrama shares no characters with any of the books in Aiken s Wolves Chronicles it is set in the same fictional Britain as the series Opening in Blastburn the dreary industrial city
seen in Wolves of Willoughby Chase the novel follows the adventures of Lucas and Anna Marie two well to do children who find themselves unexpectedly orphaned and pennilessAs Lucas and Anna Marie struggle to survive in a cold and hostile world they also find themselves involved in many of the convoluted plot lines for which Aiken is well known This well constructed novel has always been one of the author s best known works but I have never found it as satisfying a read aslast seen in
Some Of Her Others The Characters Simply Don T Interestof her others The characters simply don t interest enough to arouse a strong emotional reaction Fair or not Anna Marie is no Dido Twite 35 starsAiken is a uniue writer it s generally alternative action historical fiction Some stories have some paranormal elements in them I ve decided to label her books historical fantasy I made up that them I ve decided to label her books historical fantasy I made up that name but I like itThis one is a stand alone novel It takes place in the town of Blastburn with Yorkshire ish accents a setting in The Wolves of Willoughby Chase but this is the only connection to that book or series The review uoted on the back of the book gives away a lot of the plot so don t read that The writing is very good the details shine with creativity Part 1 and Part 2 of the book are uite different In Part 3 we see all those threads tie together and that was great fun We have read this book together many times and agree it s one of our all time favourite books A feel good book to read aloud by the fire Twice orphaned children endure hardship and adventure We love the scenes of the carpet factory and listening with horror to the occupation of toshing with man eating hogs The sanctuary of the ice house and interweaving storylines fall beautifully into place The copy I have is one of the few items I have from my childhood and a very treasured possession Joan Aiken is one of my all time favourite children s writers Her books were out of print for a while and I haunted second hand bookshops in the hopes of building up my collection My copy of this wonderful book was bought En geheimnisvollen Neuankömmling bringt Endlich ein Freund für Lucas Seine Hoffnungen werden mit einem Schlag vernichtet der Neuling. I am on a major Joan Aiken kick I am amazed by much of what she does strong willed smart young protagonists dizzying plots a delight in "language including excellent cockney slang a fine historical sense for detail and the occasional odd metaphysical " including excellent cockney slang a fine historical sense for detail and the occasional odd metaphysical such as telepathy or Arthurian legends come to life What a genius I have enjoyed everything I ve read by her and am pleased she was so Prolific Because There S So Much Left To ExploreThis Book because there s so much left to exploreThis book her in a restrained Dickensian mode no sea captains obsessed with pink whales Young Lucas and Anna Marie must fend for themselves in industrializing Blastburn and Aiken s portrayal of the industrial revolution in England is spot on While the book succeeds as an adventure story it would be particularly good for young readers working their way towards difficult uestions about work wealth and progress 90 years after I read it the image of the carpet making machine and the child labor used to pick blobs of yarn off the carpets still haunts me THIS is the book I read in Grade 7 that I ve been searching for for years I owe a huge thank you to GoodReads member Oolookitty who steered me this way after I posted a review of A Chance Child She recognized the carpet scene I d remembered from my childhood It was as nailbiting to read as it was when I was younger from the winding sewer passages to the factory floorA Midnight Place is really a delight to read with Dickensian themes of orphans and industrial England showcasing hardships and triumphs The ending is perhaps a little TOO tidy but as a youth novel that explored many dark themes around hardship and bullying and fear and responsibility it seems fair to end it on a positive note All of the characters ultimately got what they deserved in as civilized as manner as they could hope forAs an added bonus I found it a delight to read all the French sprinkled through the story There are loose translations in the dense sections but the story doesn t hold the readers hand much like how the English characters would experience Anne Marie s conversation The meanings are often clear through context Also it was nice to see such a strong young female she had moments of weakness but ultimately took charge stood up for herself and innovated solutions to her problems There wasn t even a whisper that she should take on some sort of matriarchal or family role no suggestion of seeking marriage to be kept She and Lucas both were written as euals in character and capability both with open potential to be explored Von seinem Fenster im düsteren Schloß Mitternacht beobachtet Lucas Bell Ziehkind des Besitzers Sir Randolph wie eine Reisekutsche ein.