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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2021, 09:46 
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They're all left to their own devices whilst Joey and the others go to visit Frieda's parents ... apart from poor Elinor, Sybil and Mary-Lou, who get dragged with!

There's a bizarre scene in which they all, led by Joey, go out swimming first thing in the morning, and jump into the Tiernsee one by one, which sounds like some kind of Benny Hill scene, and then go back into the hotel in their swimming gear, just as all the other guests are coming down for breakfast.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Apr 2021, 19:09 
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Yes, sorry: a bit late to the party. Life...and a lot of stuff... got in the way of all sorts of things but I just couldn’t resist.

I was rereading CofA last week and left it on the bed while I cleaned my teeth. My SLOC picked up the book and launched into the first chapter...
When I came back it was
Who are all these people?
There are a lot of characters aren’t there?
Are they all at the school?
Some of them seem to be adults... why do they know all about the school?
What’s a long family? Etc etc....
Sigh
I suppose I have been reading EBD since I was about 12 so I’ve quite forgotten her books have a language of their own.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2021, 09:22 
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Interesting, your SLOC's take on the book, Grace. :D I suppose that it's one of the charms of the CS for a fan that it is a whole world with a vocabulary of its own, and I sometimes think that keeping track of all the characters would puzzle even the recording angel.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2021, 13:01 
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Noreen wrote:
Interesting, your SLOC's take on the book, Grace. :D I suppose that it's one of the charms of the CS for a fan that it is a whole world with a vocabulary of its own, and I sometimes think that keeping track of all the characters would puzzle even the recording angel.

It certainly puzzled EBD...


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2021, 13:24 
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It is odd that she made such a big deal about Jo muddling two characters in Cecily and having to rewrite a chunk of the book and then making a whole list of girls at her fictional school.

But did EBD do that? Well, she certainly muddled some characters. But I do enjoy her interesting vocabulary.

I think SLOC did have a point about the dozens of characters hurled at us at the start of CoA. I had a quick look just now when I went up to the attic to hang up my laundry (no, Joey would not approve) and there seem to be about 35 people mentioned by name. If this was your first CS book you’d find it quite off putting.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2021, 13:52 
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There are, definitely, some books that are "good" ones for starting off an acquaintance with the CS and some that are "bad"ones.

In general, the titles that were chosen for the first Armadas were "good" ones in that they tend to represent starting points or "rebooting" points. The books that are "bad" are those like CoA and Reunion that rely on a familiarity with characters and events from much earlier books.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2021, 14:53 
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My first was Goes To It and it is definitely one of those books where you have to be vaguely familiar with the series. They kept talking about Tyrol and stuff that happened in Exile. In fact, one reason why I was so desperate to read Exile was because I got given Joey Goes and Future for my birthday and both of them mentioned Exile quite a bit and I was intrigued.

Joey Goes is NOT one I'd recommend for a beginner because of all the random encounters with characters like Evadne who EBD assumes you know. I 'knew' Cornelia because she was in Goes to It, but I didn't remember Evadne.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 Apr 2021, 15:34 
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"Joey Goes" and "Reunion" were available from my library when I was young and were among my favourites because I was familiar with the Tyrol characters from "Eustacia" which we had at home. The other library books were all the late Swiss ones and I can't imagine anyone who only knew the CS through them finding "Joey Goes", with its references to the Armiford area and all the random Tyrol contacts, of much interest.

You can see why there was such a reluctance to publish the "holiday" stories in paperback as they do rely on previous knowledge, and, very often, an interest in "adult" activities rather than children's activities.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 May 2021, 11:17 
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I saw a friend IRL yesterday - unfortunately she’s never read any CS but we have both been to Wengen. And obviously that got me thinking.

Isn’t this the one where Tom insists they all walk to Interlaken to start their jolly day out? I just looked it up on google maps. If the CS is somewhere near Wengen it would have taken them at least 3 hours and 13 minutes. And almost all of it down a steep mountainside. On a hot summer day you’d arrive exhausted unless you were extremely fit.

I am another who finds Joey’s over the top antics in the Tyrol irritating. Poor Sybil having her aunt muscle in on their school trip. The Quartet don’t want to be cluttered up with kids and husbands so why does Sybil have to put up her aunt.

(I also checked how long it would take to walk from Thun to Interlaken. I think one form does this in Barbara? It takes nearly 5 hours along what looks as though it’s a busy road.)

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2021, 13:53 
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Joey IS very annoying on the Tyrol trip. I don't blame Mary-Lou for getting irritated with her over the cliff incident. It is nice to see Tyrol again (and poor Eigen!) and the rest of the Quartette. What is the big event that requires all the Old Girls being invited? Do they just come to stay and that's it or are they there for something specific? And Margia was one of my favourite characters of the Tyrol series, so it's good to see her again. One imagines what would have happened if she and Nina had met.

EBD does a very good job of making Miss Bubb sympathetic after the utter nightmare she was in Gay. And yes, I spotted the EBDism about the Sale money! :) A Shakespeare Sale is one of the better ideas they've had. Who is Mary-Lou supposed to be? She mentions being an enchanter, I'm guessing Prospero?

ETA: yes, it is the one where Tom goes on about walking and Miss Wilmot points out that most of them couldn't hack such a big long walk.

Mary-Lou was such a shoe-in for Head Girl, it was always going to be her. Tbf she was one of the best ones in the series, not least because of how proactive she is.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jun 2021, 15:18 
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They seemed to be there for the Sale. I suppose it doubled up as a reunion event, but I'm not sure that I'd want to travel hundreds of miles for a lucky dip and some homemade scrapbooks :roll: . Having said which, it's better than when Wanda and Friedel cut short their honeymoon so that they can attend the school summer masque - Friedel must have been ecstatic about that!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 Jun 2021, 23:09 
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Alison H wrote:
They seemed to be there for the Sale. I suppose it doubled up as a reunion event, but I'm not sure that I'd want to travel hundreds of miles for a lucky dip and some homemade scrapbooks :roll: . Having said which, it's better than when Wanda and Friedel cut short their honeymoon so that they can attend the school summer masque - Friedel must have been ecstatic about that!


EBD did seem to include a few husbands who were unusually accepting of their wives' fixation on their old school - maybe it was a sort of wish-fulfillment for her.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 24 Jun 2021, 14:48 
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Finished it now. I'll never get why EBD made the girl who's THE most obvious candidate for Head Girl/the Josephine Maynard prize be all like 'little old me? But how come?' If any character in the CS was going to get the job, it was OOAO and not just because she doesn't exactly have a lot of competition in her age group (although I agree that Vi is a good deputy type like Dickie).

I can also understand why Jessica asked for her - Mary-Lou is a friend, she's her age (so less intimidating than having a teacher around) and she's got a track record with helping Jessica, she's a person Jessica knows and trusts, and she's got Jessica's back. Rosamund's death was sad because she was so young, and all the 'be happy for her, at least she's at peace now' stuff rubs me up the wrong way, though I can understand why EBD wrote that. (And the bit about Jessica having to bite her lip and try not to be angry or sad around Rosamund, for Rosamund's sake, resonates with me because I had to be like that around my gran when she was dying in hospital - I really had to force myself not to cry because I didn't want to upset her, and in hindsight, I'm glad I kept it in. It was the last time I saw her as well.)

EBD's attempts at slapstick are hit and miss, but the image of all those big teenage girls bumbling around and falling on Jack Maynard or whoever was pretty funny. All in all, not a favourite, but not one of the worse Swiss books either (and it's always nice to see 'old friends' back).

ETA: I also really liked the Dawbarn twins' sub-plot where Priscilla has matured, but Prudence is still a pain in the neck and Priscilla gets fed up with her acting up.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2021, 01:11 
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Lotte wrote:

I can also understand why Jessica asked for her - Mary-Lou is a friend, she's her age (so less intimidating than having a teacher around) and she's got a track record with helping Jessica, she's a person Jessica knows and trusts, and she's got Jessica's back. Rosamund's death was sad because she was so young, and all the 'be happy for her, at least she's at peace now' stuff rubs me up the wrong way, though I can understand why EBD wrote that.

I could see that as well, and I thought there was some understanding of Jessica's complicated feelings - she had disliked Rosamund at first, then they'd become closer and so the loss was harder to take. But the 'be happy for her' stuff also irritated me: it's so insensitive, particularly when pushed by teachers.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2021, 11:40 
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Miss Hilary wrote:
Lotte wrote:

I can also understand why Jessica asked for her - Mary-Lou is a friend, she's her age (so less intimidating than having a teacher around) and she's got a track record with helping Jessica, she's a person Jessica knows and trusts, and she's got Jessica's back. Rosamund's death was sad because she was so young, and all the 'be happy for her, at least she's at peace now' stuff rubs me up the wrong way, though I can understand why EBD wrote that.

I could see that as well, and I thought there was some understanding of Jessica's complicated feelings - she had disliked Rosamund at first, then they'd become closer and so the loss was harder to take. But the 'be happy for her' stuff also irritated me: it's so insensitive, particularly when pushed by teachers.


I don't see a lot of difference between that and "They are in a better place" which is something I heard a LOT after my mother died, and which I know people use to those who have lost children. I find it particularly abhorrent.

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