I read this book because of the reviews... I had read one other book by Diana Wynne Jones, and loved it. Feeling like I needed a break from the formula fantasy novels that are all alike, I gave Hexwood a try. From the first page, I was hooked. I couldn't put it down. I even had it at the dinner table, which my parents didn't like, but it was such a wonderful book!
Hexwood Farm is at the edge of a town near London. Inside the farm is the Bannus, a machine that plays with time and identity. It has been turned on, and nobody can turn it off. Ann, a girl living by Hexwood Farm, is sick in bed. Through her window, she sees people going into the farm--and not coming back out. She ventures into the wood to see what's going on, and she is swept into the confusing and time-warping field of the Bannus. She meets Mordion, a man who says he's been asleep for a century; but Ann knows he entered Hexwood Farm just a day ago. And Hume, the boy who is a different age every time Ann sees him. Ann wonders just who is real and who isn't; and after all, if they aren't who they seem to be, is she who she thinks she is?
This book moves at a fast pace, and the action starts right away. Time, places, and identities are changed and warped so often that it's useless to try and straighten it out. It's much more enjoyable to let yourself be carried along in the confusion. At first I was extremely frustrated trying to read the book, but after a few chapters I got into the story, and I loved it. When I finished, I nearly cried. Not because it was a sad ending, but because I couldn't believe I was done. I wanted it to go on forever.
Despite a misleading cover and a confusing start, this book instantly became a favorite. It's worth reading, and it will stay in your mind for weeks after you're finished reading.