I agree - this is set well before the CS books and most of the characters are unfamiliar and, because Taverton High
was written first, the characters are introduced in that book.
I like seeing Madge as a young girl, and found the points made in the foreword (or was it the afterword?) about the deep impact that the Great War would have had on those growing up in its shadow very well-made.
It's quite difficult to relate it to the CS series because only four of the characters in the book feature in the series, Joey and Grizel are both so young here, and EBD tells us so frustratingly little about the Bettanys' background. I've said before that I think it would have made more sense if some of the unnamed aunts' grandchildren had come to stay with Joey in the later books, rather than her acquiring kids at random. But it's so nice to see Madge growing up, and a book that's focused on
Madge - she doesn't get nearly enough attention or credit in the main series, IMHO