I sometimes feel that a book that is easily read and easily forgotten cannot be a great book. Easy to read is always an important factor, but when it’s also easy to forget, I begin to wonder…
Not Just a Witch by Eva Ibbotson is simply charming.
It’s old-fashioned in its ‘moral’ idea of doing good and ending wickedness. I know that many people find a story with a moral a little same-old-same-old, but not I. I don’t need morality to be cunningly woven into the plot. I can read about goodness and kindness without feeling the social need to roll my eyes at impracticality. I enjoyed the idea of a school for good witches, where powers are used for good, and witches are miserable when they do things that are not all good. Not once did the writing seem self-conscious while discussing ideas of wickedness and goodness, and I think that’s where the beauty of the book lies.
I loved the simplicity of courtship, the descriptions of the witches, and most of all the style of story-telling. It was fun, fast-paced and filled with action. A thoroughly modern novel, it did not seek to ‘address’ issues of racism or animal rights, but was based on the fact that both exist.
Despite all that, I wonder – will I remember the story of this book even a few months from now? Or will I just think that it was a fun-book that I can’t quite remember?
Then I’d want to read it again.
I wish I could remember everything I read. No, not everything, just everything I loved.
I would have so much more time.
But then, the pleasure of re-reading and rediscovering little things would be gone. The joy of reaching a loved moment in a story would be gone. The joy of imagining the character, frozen in that moment in time, would be gone.
With a sigh, I realise things are quite good the way they are.