Not Just a Witch by Eva Ibbotson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I wanted something a bit lighter, since my life right now has been "challenging", and this fit the bill for this, but the story didn't quite make it for me.
The characters are the main attraction, but somehow, I just didn't find out enough about them to make a real connection. For example, you don't really get to know Heckie and her friend Dora, before they have a big fight and stop talking to each other. You don't care enough about the friendship to feel its loss until much later in the book.
And some of the characters, especially the other witches and the children, seem uni-dimensional. One wizard wants to make cheese walk. This could be a great joke, but it isn't developed enough to help me understand him - to feel his quirks and sympathize with him. It is just a one-line joke, until it comes in handy later in the story. You do find out a lot about some of the villains, but what you find out is mostly there to convince you that Heckie's plan for them (turning them into animals) is justified.
I don't think children would mind these flaws, but for me, it keeps the book from being a classic. Enjoyable, but superficial.
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