Howl’s Moving Castle (1986)

A girl is magically altered into an old crone, trying to get rid of this curse she enters the household of the wizard Howl to work as the housekeeper and ends up falling in love with him.

I’ve seen the anime version before I read the book, and after reading the book I thought the anime had taken the strengths of the book and amplified them, while cutting out the weaker material. The background setting in the book was much more generic fantasy, while the anime version created something of an alternate 19th century fantasy world. What didn’t worked in the book was the part where our own non-magical Earth is visited by Sophie, when she realizes that Howl comes from here. It really didn’t fit well with the story flow and the mood of the rest of the book. But overall it’s enjoyable read, both for kids and grown-ups alike.