This is such an amazing book!
It is only a little less strange than the cartoon, but if you can expect anything from anime, then from the fifty-year-old English woman who wrote this novel, you expect some more classic and harmonious plots without twists and complex confusions. It seems that everything in the book should be orderly and orderly; Miyazaki probably added on top of his Japanese quirks, changing the original beyond recognition.
But no! And everything in the book is wildly twisted, you need to read carefully, because if you miss just one detail, the course of the story and the motives of the characters become incomprehensible.
This is what happens in the book: young Sophie is turned into an old woman by an evil witch, she leaves her hometown and settles in a moving castle. This strange castle not only moves, as the name suggests, but it can also be present in several places at the same time, because its door opens to the place where the owner wants to go. And the owner of this castle is a sorcerer named Howl, handsome and powerful, the evil witch is also hunting for him. Sophie and Howl develop a very tense relationship, Sophie imposes her company, Howl tries to kick her off, Sophie wants to restore order, and Howl, out of frustration, fills everything with green mucus (read: snot). What connects the handsome young man and the clumsy old woman will become clear only at the end of the book, but for now... while the garden scarecrow keeps breaking on the door and terribly knocking with a stick, the fire demon in the fireplace is rebelling and either refuses to fry the eggs, or else collides in heaven in a fierce battle with a demon like himself, the dog-man whines, walks on his hind legs and uncontrollably changes his appearance, the boots of the walkers rush into the swamps after a shooting star, the sisters change their appearance... Oh, there’s a lot of things here, the author doesn’t scatter his thoughts all over the place, denotes events schematically, so it is up to the reader to stay on his toes and try to unravel what is happening in this complex story.