The Time of the Ghost

The Time of the Ghost

by Diana Wynne Jones

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Overview

The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones

There's been an accident!
Something's wrong!

She doesn't know who she is, and doesn't know why she's invisibly floating through the buildings and grounds of a half-remembered boarding school. Then, to her horror, she encounters the ancient evil that four peculiar sisters have unwittingly woken -- and learns she is their only hope against a deadly danger.

A ghost, uncertain of her identity, watches the four Melford sisters hatch a plan to get their parents' attention and slowly becomes aware of the danger from a supernatural power unleashed by the girls and their friends from the boys boarding school run by the Melfords.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062200839
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/31/2012
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 892,694
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 13 Years

About the Author

In a career spanning four decades, award-winning author Diana Wynne Jones (1934‒2011) wrote more than forty books of fantasy for young readers. Characterized by magic, multiple universes, witches and wizards—and a charismatic nine-lived enchanter—her books are filled with unlimited imagination, dazzling plots, and an effervescent sense of humor that earned her legendary status in the world of fantasy.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

There's been an accident! she thought. Something's wrong!

She could not quite work out what was the matter. It was broad daylight -- probably the middle of the afternoon-and she was coming down the road from the wood on her way home. It was summer, just as it should be. All round her was the sleepy, heavy humming of a countryside drowsing after lunch. She could hear the distant flap and caw of the rooks in the dead elms and a tractor grinding away somewhere. If she raised herself to look over the hedge, there lay the flelds, just as she expected, sleepy gray-green, because the wheat was not ripe by a long way yet. The trees were almost black in the heat haze, and dense, except for the bare ring of elms, a long way off where the rooks were noisy specks.

I've always wanted to be tall enough to look over the hedge, she thought. I must have grown.

She wondered if it was the heavy, steamy weather that was making her feel so odd. She had a queer, light, vague feeling. She could not think clearly-or not when she thought about thinking. And perhaps the weather accounted for the way she felt so troubled and anxious. It felt like a thunderstorm coming. But it was not quite that. Why did she think there had been an accident?

She could not remember an accident. Nor could she think why she was suddenly on her way home, but since she was going there, she thought she might as well go on. It made her uncomfortable to he reared up above the hedges, so she subsided to her usual height and went on down the road, thinking vague, anxious thoughts.

What's happened to me? she thought. I must stop feeling sosilly. I'm the sensible one. Perhaps if I ask myself questions, my memory will come back. What did I have for lunch?

That was no good. She could not remember lunch in any way. She realized, near to panic, that she could not remember anything about the rest of today at alL

That's silly! she told herself. I mustknow! But she didn't. Panic began to grow in her. It was as if someone was pumping up a very large balloon somewhere in the middle of her chest. She fought to squash it down as it unfolded. All right! she told herself hysterically. All right! I'll ask something easy. What am I wearing?

This ought to have been easy. She only had to look down. But first she seemed to have forgotten how to do that. Then when she did --

Panic spread, roaring, to its fullest size. She was swept away with it, as if it were truly a huge. balloon, tumbling, rolling, bobbing, mindless.

There's been an accident! was all she could think. Something's awfully wrong!

When she noticed things again, she was a long way on down the road. There was a small house she somehow knew was a shop nestling in the hedge just ahead. She made herself stand still. She was so frightened that everything she could see was shaking-quivering like poor reception on the telly. She had a notion that if it went on shaking this way, it would shake itself away from her, and she would be left with utter nothing. So she made herself stand there.

After a while she managed to make herself look down again.

There was still nothing there.

I've turned into nothing! she thought. Panic swelled again. There's been an accident! STOP IT! she told herself. Stop and think. She made herself do that. it took awhile, because thinking seemed so difficult, and panic kept swelling through her thoughts and threatening to whirl her away again, but she eventually thought something like: I'm all right. I'm here. I'm me. If I wasn't, I wouldn't even be frightened. I wouldn't know. But something has happened to me. I can't see myself at all, not even a smear of shadow on the road. There's been an accident! STOP THAT!I keep thinking about an accident, so there must have been one, but it does no good to say so, because every time I do, things just get vaguer. So I must stop thinking that and start thinking what's the matter with me. I may be just invisible.

On that not altogether comforting thought, she took herself over to the hedge and -- well -- sort of leaned into it. She had, as she leaned, strong memories of the way a stout prickly hedge bears you up like a mattress and sticks spines into you as it bears you.

Not this time. She found herself in the field on the other side of the hedge without feeling a thing. She could not even feel anything from the clump of nettles she seemed to be standing in. Seemed is the right word, she thought unhappily. Let's face it. I'm not just invisible. I haven't got a body at all.She had to spend another while squashing down bulging panic after this. It does no good! she shouted at herself. In fact, she was beginning to see that the panic did positive harm. Each time it happened she felt odder and vaguer. Now she could hardly remember coming down the road or why she had been coming this way in the first place.

It probably comes of not having a proper head to keep my thoughts in, she decided. I shall have to be very careful. She half put a nonexistent hand to what she thought was probably her head but took it away again. If I put my hand right through, I might knock all the thoughts out, she said, forgetting she had already been through a hedge. Where am I?

The field had a path winding through it, and there was a stile in the hedge opposite, leading to somewhere with trees.

The Time of the Ghost. Copyright © by Diana Jones. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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The Time of the Ghost 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm so sorry the professional reviewers had such a hard time with this book. I found it very satisfying. It is confusing, and I think more appropriate for senior than junior high. In particular, if you can keep it all straight, the ending is neither abrupt nor unsatisfying. The morbid goddess tries to make everyone unhappy, but if you watch closely, does not succeed except in the case of the one person who deserves it. In fact, she seems to be trying to let the 'ghost' off her bargain. It is the goddess who lets the 'ghost' go back and change things. Oh, yes, the 'ghost' is not dead though badly hurt by attaching herself to the self- centered user who ends up the only one the goddess can harm. In the end, the story is about taking charge of your own life, and not letting people or events take away your choices. The malevolent goddess can only hurt those who let her. Everyone else ends up happier in spite of her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being a bookworm I stummbled onto this book during a test. Im not into the parinormal stuff but I found this book funny. It was about a ghost from the future and how she went back in time to save the future. Its not really about ghosts but I though it was cool enough to by so I have my own copy.