Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: April 14, 1986
Series: Howl's Moving Castle, book one
Source: purchased on audible
Read By: Jenny Sterlin
Audiobook Publisher: Recorded Books
Length: 8 hours, 42 minutes
About the Book: Meek and quiet as a mouse, Sophie is the eldest of three daughters. She thinks she'll never amount to anything if she stays cooped up making hats in her step-mother's shop. Yet, the very idea of striking out on her own is almost too scary to think about.
The people in Sophie's town of Market Chipping live in fear of the evil Witch of the Waste. On a rare trip out of the shop, Sophie unwittingly attracts her attention. The witch casts a terrible spell, transforming young Sophie into an old crone. But the witch isn't the only magic in this world. A strange and shy wizard named Howl who lives in a mysterious moving castle outside the town may be Sophie's only hope to reclaim her youth.
My Thoughts: This is a book I have been meaning to read for years. I kept seeing it mentioned by authors I admire and I've heard such wonderful things about Diana Wynne Jones. Having an audible credit gave me the extra push I needed to finally check it out!
Howl's Moving Castle was full of characters I wish I had met sooner! I so loved getting to know each and every one of them! Sophie is just so wonderfully matter of fact. I love how she gets a notion in her head and it just sticks there! Stubborn may be a bit of an understatement! Of course, Howl can compete in that department! He is so set in his ways! I loved how Sophie showing up on his doorstep threw them together! And Michael! And Calcifer! And The Witch of the Waste! Oh how I love them all!!!
As far as the audiobook goes, I really loved the narration. Jenny Sterlin did a great job with different voices for the characters. The pacing and tone were perfect. I'm glad I went the audiobook route!
Basically, if you love magical stories with great characters and a delightful plot Howl's Moving Castle is for you.
P.S. Now I want a fire demon in my fire place. Reality can be so disappointing ;