I happened to have this sitting on my shelf with some other library books when I heard Diana Wynne Jones died. I have been a considerable fan of her fiction since I first read Charmed Life back in the late 70's. She seemed to have this great gift for making magic worlds where the magic felt as real as a sunset or a tree in bloom, without ever becoming mundane, pedestrian or .. well, unmagical.
Not all of her fiction was particularly polished. Sometimes it could be a little bit of a homemade cake - still delicious but a little bit wonky on one side and with few crumbs in the frosting. But I kind of liked that about her. She felt to me like a workmanlike storyteller, a craftsperson. Nothing particularly precious about DWJ.
Among the obits and memoriams printed this month there was one that said She was amused by the considerable academic attention her work attracted; reading in one paper that her work was "rooted in fluidity", she remarked: "Obviously hydroponic, probably a lettuce, possibly a cabbage."
There's Diana, wry, funny, never above her company or seduced by others into thinking herself either better or worse than she actually was. Feet firmly on the ground, head firmly in the clouds. So. To Enchanted Glass. Its a lovely cabbage.
In fact some parts of it concern cabbages. And village fetes, and incursions from Elfland, and computers, and werepuppies, and lost heirs and housekeepers who will insist on moving the furniture and messing up the filing system so nobody can find the spell to fix the leak in the roof. Its not the best thing she's ever written, its not the worst. Its right in the center of her wheelhouse, and so an ideal book really, with which to comfort myself in the week in which she left us.