Monday, August 2, 2010

Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend

The Diamond In The Window
This next book is not really SF but Fantasy.  Its called The Diamond In The Window by Jane Langdon.  It fits in however into the theme of most of the juvenile SF I am writing about.  The misfit who triumphs over all.  In most cases it’s a boy, but in this case its actually an entire family of misfits.
Eleanor, her brother Edward (Trebor Nosnibor to those in the know) and Aunt Lily.  They live in Concord, Massachusetts in an old gothic sort of house and just are not doing well.  Uncle Freddy(another member of the family) is bonkers apparently-he talks to the statues of Waldo and Emerson-and Aunt Lily is going to lose the house for back taxes. 
But, there is a mystery here.  The missing children, the prince who was Aunt Lily’s boyfriend and also disappeared.  And there is the Diamond in the Window which is only glass right? 
This story weaves a mystery, information about the transcendentalists (Emerson and Thoreau among others) and a battle between good and evil waged by children
This is the theme of most if not all of this juvenile SF and Fantasy that I am so fond of.  Misfits that become heroes.  It is the sort of story that appealed to the misfit I was, and still am.  And the fact that there is so much of it out there says something about how common misfits are.   And perhaps how maybe this society we live in needs to change its treatment of those who don’t conform.  Think about it.  How many people who have changed the world were weird in some way?  And how many conformists have made the world better? 
Unfortunately because of how misfits are harassed and shunned some turn into the sort of non-conformists that change the world in evil ways. 
Anyway, its one of my favorite books of all time.  Maybe my favorite fantasy novel.  I have read that Langdon wrote some sort of sequel to it, but I have never found it. 
I recommend it highly. 
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