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 Post subject: Juliet of the Chalet School "Spoilers Alert"
PostPosted: 26 Feb 2017, 07:33 
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“Spoiler Alert”. Please do not read any further if you do not want to know anything about the book. These discussions are completely open for discussion (hence the spoiler alert).

Juliet is made the second Head Girl of the Chalet School and this fill focuses on how both Juliet and the school cope without Gisela and Bernhilda. The book covers a number of changes and it ends up being a busy term for not Juliet but also the rest of the school.
The school returns to a bigger building as Madame organises extensions to the main Chalet. This means all the Middles are being housed at the main school and the Juniors are kept much more exclusively at Le Petit Chalet. This also means Madame is able to divide the school into Forms and not Sections for the first time, resulting in a new Mistress starting. Miss Wilson makes her debut as the Science and Geography Mistress and though the same age as Madame doesn’t have the same level of experience.
Juliet is rather diffident as the newest Head Girl and initially struggles to find her feet after Gisela leaves. The younger Middles play her up, but eventually Juliet realises what is behind it all and resolves it with them.
Grizel is also made a Prefect for the first time and has been promoted from Games Captain to Games Prefect. She struggles with both her tongue and manner as at first, being proud of her position, she lords it over the younger girls.
Two mysterious new girls are introduced: Dorota and Eva and Juliet suspects they are hiding something but is unable to work out what. Other new girls include Kitty and Peggy Burnett and Ilonka aka Lonny who does cause some initial problems with Margia and Evadne’s friendship as Evvy is jealous of the initial closeness between Lonny and Margia.
The Autumn Term progresses and Madame announces the girls will have an expedition before the snows come and have a lengthy walk around the lake to Tiernkirche. A rain storm comes and Simone injures her ankle whilst trying to help Robin get to safety with Joey. She falls and no one realises until they all reach safety. Miss Wilson returns for her with Juliet and Grizel and Grizel makes matters worse for Simone due to her manner and her carelessness with supporting Simone’s ankle in the walk back to safety.
Robin get bronchitis and a foreshadow looms of her future frailty. She recovers and Joey realises exactly what she puts Madge through with her illnesses over the years.
Grizel continues to be difficult and stamps heavily on the Thirds during Prep, and is pulled up by Miss Wilson, who also confronts Grizel about her behaviour with Simone’s accident. Miss Wilson demands an apology from Grizel both to herself and Simone and whilst Grizel does somewhat reluctantly apologises to Simone, she refuses to apologise to Miss Wilson.
Eventually Miss Wilson consults with Miss Maynard as Senior Mistress about what she should do about the situation with Grizel and is almost immediately taken to Madame who is able to guide and mentor Miss Wilson through the situation. Madame discusses it with Grizel and is able to show Grizel the error of her ways and Grizel starts to try to do better.
The girls have their first ski-ing session and Evadne ends up with snow blindness. During her time in the sick room, Matron Wilson is able to get through Evadnes’s obvious misery by putting Juliet onto the case. Evadne confesses her jealousy of Ilonka and Juliet encourages her to make up with Margia – which she does.
The Thirds and Fourths rag each other as per usual (as jokes seem to be the norm in the early days of the School years).
And we learn the mystery behind Eva and Dorota’s friendship, with Juliet coming to the rescue and helping them to realise just how wrong they were to hide from their family that the other, was a member at the school. And during the process was able to affect a reunion within a family.
The school term ends with a nativity play and both Juliet and Miss Wilson are reassured of the great job they have done, by Madame.

(For those who would like to read the excised scenes from the book Caroline German did post them on the CBB soon after the book was published. These scenes, while wonderful, were deemed not in keeping with the book of that time period (i.e. the Tyrol years). I remember Caroline saying word of that effect, at the time. You should be able to find them in the archives.

So what did everyone think of the book? Did people enjoy reading about Juliet’s adjustment as Head Girl? Did people find her diffidence realistic about stepping into the role Gisela had made such a success of? Was Evadne’s jealousy of Ilonka’s friendship with Margia realistic especially given she was one of the few who opened the hand of friendship with Eustacia in her first term? Did people find Grizel’s behaviour as a new Prefect realistic and believable? (Please note the basis of that are Miss Wilson’s comments in Camp about Grizel’s first term as a Prefect). What did you think of a young and inexperienced Miss Wilson who did very much take a back seat in the early books? (I think her first real showing was Eustacia).

I think it is much harder to write about popular, much loved characters that are mentioned and star quite considerably in the series, as readers will have definite ideas of how they see characters. Does Caroline German’s take on some of these characters match how you see them? Do they gel with you interpretation? If not, do you still enjoy reading the fill in and seeing a different point of view?

It was noted at the end of Guides that Caroline German and Jane Berry emailed each other to ensure the books flowed with each other, given they were being written around the same time. Do people feel the two writers ensured that not only the books flowed but also fitted well with the time period?

Please discuss this and anything else you can think of

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 Post subject: Re: Juliet of the Chalet School "Spoilers Alert"
PostPosted: 26 Feb 2017, 09:11 
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Very interested to know what everyone thinks :shock:

Writing this seems alooooog time ago now.


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 Post subject: Re: Juliet of the Chalet School "Spoilers Alert"
PostPosted: 26 Feb 2017, 10:24 
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Have to say that this is one of my favourite fill-ins! It feels very in keeping with the main books and Juluet's dilemmas over being head girl are brilliantly written. Although i dislike Evadne's behaviour towards Juliet and can definitely imagine those scenes happening in real life.

I was a little confused by the Eva and Dorota storyline at first but this was probably because I'd never come across Dorota before but i think this fitted nicely into the book.


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 Post subject: Re: Juliet of the Chalet School "Spoilers Alert"
PostPosted: 26 Feb 2017, 11:20 
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I actually enjoyed this book much more this time around than I had with the first reading, mainly due to our opposing views on how we picture Evadne! I had always pictured her being much more friendlier and inclusive due to her behavior in Eustacia, so disagreed with her jealousy and I had originally thought Juliet's diffidence would have been more realistic in the term she is made a Prefect and closer to her first term and bad behavior than during this term. However, I now think anyone following Gisela would be feeling very diffident filling in her shoes. That said, I never realised how busy the term was compared to Deira! I think the way you handled Miss Wilson's first term was wonderful and I loved how Madame mentored her with her handling of the girls, particularly Grizel. I thought it fitted so well with Miss Wilson's hesitation in Camp to pull Grizel up for calling Joey "child". She had learnt not to rush in and that some pupils require careful or "outside of the box" handling. Not sure if that was intentional or not, but it gelled for me. I also loved Matron Wilson's character - very different from the beloved Matey! I think this has ousted my previous favourite of yours (which was Deira), but I loved the more complex story lines in this book more, even if I didn't always agree with how you interpreted the characters.

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 Post subject: Re: Juliet of the Chalet School "Spoilers Alert"
PostPosted: 26 Feb 2017, 11:43 
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Thanks, Fiona. From what I remember, Juliet was much harder to write, because of the interlocking storylines - and due to having to remove most of Miss Wilson's story very late on... :roll:

For Evadne, I guess I'd say that this is a couple of years before Eustacia, possibly her experiences here are what help her be so welcoming to Stacie.... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Juliet of the Chalet School "Spoilers Alert"
PostPosted: 26 Feb 2017, 16:54 
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Juliet seemed to me to be a bit weepy. My memory may be exaggerating that but it was certainly my original impression!


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 Post subject: Re: Juliet of the Chalet School "Spoilers Alert"
PostPosted: 27 Feb 2017, 08:01 
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Caroline wrote:
Thanks, Fiona. From what I remember, Juliet was much harder to write, because of the interlocking storylines - and due to having to remove most of Miss Wilson's story very late on... :roll:

For Evadne, I guess I'd say that this is a couple of years before Eustacia, possibly her experiences here are what help her be so welcoming to Stacie.... :D


I must admit, I thought of that as a possible explanation and it would fit as an explanation!

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 Post subject: Re: Juliet of the Chalet School "Spoilers Alert"
PostPosted: 27 Feb 2017, 15:29 
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I really enjoyed this as a fill in - mainly because it gives us another term in the all-too-brief Headship of Madge, but also because Juliet is one of my favourite early characters. Juliet's diffidence towards her elevation to the role of Headgirl seemed very realistic. As a prefect, she was one of a group but as Headgirl the focus would be firmly on her ability to do the job effectively, and gain the respect of particularly the younger pupils. Her struggle is portrayed well.

As others have noted, Evadne always seems to be such a friendly, gregarious soul so it was surprising to see her react negatively to Margia's new friendship with Ilonka. However, Evadne has only been at the school for two terms, she is only 12-13, and would perhaps still feel insecure about her friendships. Being an only child, making a good friend in Margia was probably more significant for her than for Margia.

I also like the scene when Madge tells Jem how she feels she has failed to protect the children in her care - and how he reassures her. It is sometimes easy to forget how much responsibility Madge has been carrying because she is always so calm and in control. Here, she is presented as only being human after all!


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