First of all, a large friendly welcome to all who have come here from finslippy. It's an honor to have you.
And I feel I ought to have something bold and new to say, but it's only regular and small: I loved one of Diana's books. It's not even a little-known book that I unearthed on my own, but a book that everyone already knows and loves. It has gathered to itself many, many (deserved) awards. So I feel a little bit like I'm running around saying, "Wow, you guys, check out this amazing film? It's called The Godfather?" Nonetheless.
One of the wonderful things that happens when you read a great book is how clear everything seems all of a sudden. I read this and thought, "Oh right, this is what it's like to read an excellent book." And I remember that it's not (necessarily) my fault if I'm sort of…drifting from a book I'm reading. It's just hard to make a book (or find a book!) that's really great. What a pleasure it is! And it shakes me, a bit, out of my early-onset old fogeyness, wherein I've been hobbling around thinking, "Well, now that Betsy-Tacy, there was a good kids book," as though nothing good has been published since 1936.
The people in this book live and breathe, and the story carries you delightedly along, and reading it gave me such a joyful feeling.
It also gave me and Diana a lot to talk about: she bemoaned the absence of good (as opposed to evil) female main characters in the section that's set in the present; her favorite part was the flashbacks; would she, a person who doesn't eat onions, be able to survive being stranded in the desert when all there was to eat was—onions? It's hard to convey how much more fun this was to discuss than Pokemon.