Earwig and the Witch and The Vile Visitors

Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones and illustrated by Marion Lindsay

On a rainy day (streets flooding and trapping me at someone’s house rainy) I read three Diana Wynne Jones stories, Earwig and the Witch and The Vile Visitors all illustrated by Marion Lindsay.

First off, Marion Lindsay’s art is adorable and charming, so that’s what I chose to post instead of quotes.

Earwig and the Witch was a major disappointment, and I don’t know how much of that is because it’s a posthumous book. It feels like two thirds of the book is missing, and that it was setting up for a series. Little is explained, characters are introduced significantly, only to never appear again, and the conflict vanishes suddenly. I was disappointed, because the start was very clever.

Almost forgot: The plot is Earwig lives in an orphanage and enjoys it very much. One day a witch takes her out to make her the witch’s slave. Hijinks start to ensue, then don’t.

The second book, Vile Visitors is a combination of two stories (see? I didn’t forget one when I said I read three above) which are Who Got Rid of Angus Flint? and Chair Person which have an unexpectedly large furniture presence. As the title suggests, it’s about vile visitors. The first is Angus Flint, a friend of the children’s father who shows up and decides to stay, making life hell. The second is about a horrible old sitting chair that a family decides to take out to put on a bonfire that… turns into a human and things go very wrong from there.

Vile Visitors was lots of fun, plus Marion Lindsay’s artwork really brought the characters and situations to life. Skip Earwig and the Witch.

Chair Person from the short story Chair Person by Diana Wynne Jones and illustrated by Marion Lindsay

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