Locus Award nominee 2011.
"As a boy, he had spent fascinated hours looking at the garden through each differently coloured pane. Depending, you got a rose pink sunset garden, hushed and windless; a stormy orange garden, where it was suddenly autumn; a tropical green garden, where there seemed likely to be parrots and monkeys any second. And so on. As an adult now, Andrew valued that glass even more. Magic apart, it was old old old. The glass had all sorts of internal wrinkles and trapped bubbles, and the long-dead maker had somehow managed to make the colours both intense and misty at once."
When the magician Jocelyn Brandon Hope died he bequeathed Melstone House to his grandson Andrew. He also left his "field of care": an area of strangeness surrounding the land around the house, whose boundary Andrew must walk in order to preserve its power.
Andrew had always loved the house, but he finds owning it a lot more complicated, aside from all the magic. There is Mrs Stock, the tyrannical housekeeper who won’t let him move the furniture and punishes him with her terrible cooking. Just as bad is the obsessive gardener who will only grow giant inedible vegetables. To add to his troubles, twelve year old orphan Aidan Cain suddenly arrives on the doorstep begging protection from magical stalkers, and Andrew’s sinister rich neighbour, Mr Brown, begins to encroach on the "field of care". The one compensation is the gardener’s beautiful niece, Stashe. Things become stranger and stranger until all is made clear with the help of the enchanted glass itself.
Not since HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE has Diana Wynne Jones combined romance and humour so successfully as in this delightful novel with echoes of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Diana Wynne Jones (1934–2011) was a British writer, principally of fantasy novels for children and adults, as well as a small amount of non-fiction. Some of her better-known works include the Chrestomanci series and the novels Howl's Moving Castle and Dark Lord of Derkholm.