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 Post subject: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2017, 22:33 
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Having Miss Ferrars as Form Mistress
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This week’s thread is on The Chalet School and the Island, first published in 1950. This book skips the Easter term following Three Go and opens during the Easter holidays, covering the summer term that follows. Problems with the drains at Plas Howell force the school to relocate to the island of St Briavel’s, off the coast of Wales. As the school settles into its new home and takes advantage of the coastal location, Annis Lovell, a girl with an unhappy home life, rebels against the authorities and attempts to take matters into her own hands, with near-disastrous consequences. Notable events:

The book opens with a discussion between Jo and Jack, establishing that an epidemic of sore throats at Plas Howell the term before has been traced to the drains, which have to be completely overhauled, forcing the school to move. They have so far been unsuccessful in finding new premises, as they only want to rent for the duration of the problem at Plas Howell, not buy.
Jacks lets slip that Madge and Jem are sailing to Canada at the end of April, as Jem has been chosen as a representative for a TB conference being held there. They will be away about six months, taking Josette and Ailie but leaving David, Sybil and Primula to the Maynards. Jo states that the McDonald girls should go with them, as Shiena has been longing for them to join her in Canada. She then realises that the idea is for Margot, who had been very ill with the sore throat that went round the school, to go as well. After much protesting, she finally agrees.
Jack settles down to read some letters while Jo goes up to the nursery to see to Michael, and when she comes back down, he tells her that the school’s problem is solved. A friend of his, Commander Christy, who owns a huge place on the island of St Briavel’s off the coast of Wales, is offering it to them for as long as they need it.
On the bus journey from Swansea to Carnbach, Kathie Robertson reveals to the other prefects that she overheard fifteen year old Annis Lovell, a new girl the term before, declaring to her friends that while her Aunt Margaret can send her to any school she likes, she can’t make her stay there, and that she intends to make the Heads thankful to expel her by the end of term.
The girls reach the Big House, and as the Sixths are looking around their new formroom and wondering how they are all going to fit, a new girl comes in and introduces herself as Dickie Christy, eldest daughter of Commander Christie, the owner of the house. She explains that she has two younger sisters, eleven year old Cherry and four year old Gaynor, and that Cherry won’t be coming to the school as an attack of infantile paralysis has left her with her legs in irons, and also made her extremely shy. She is also very resentful of the school moving into their old house.
We learn that Miss Norman is returning to the school as a Junior mistress, while Miss Burnett and Miss Linton are both leaving at the end of term to get married.
The staff are reminiscing about the old days in Tyrol (spot the EBDisms!) when Mlle de Lachenais and Mlle Berné come in and relate that they have just had a run-in with Annis Lovell. On hearing how rude she was to Mlle de Lachenais, Miss Wilson heads off to find Annis and make her apologise.
At dinnertime, Miss Wilson reports to Miss Annersley that she has been unsuccessful with Annis, and at the end of the meal Miss Annersley herself tries to make Annis apologise to Mlle in front of the whole school, but she continues to remain silent, with the result that she ends up in solitude until she chooses to end her rebellion.
Lower Fifth A, Annis’s form, which includes Bride Bettany and her peers, feel distinctly aggrieved that Annis’s behaviour is causing the staff to drop on them constantly, and that they haven’t yet been shopping to Carnbach, although all the other Fifths and Sixths have. A fuming Bride goes to the study to air her grievances to Miss Annersley, who tells her that they can go that afternoon with Miss Linton.
Miss Burnett, taking a history lesson with Lower Fifth A just after this, notices how pale Annis is looking and suggests to the Head that she be allowed to go to Carnbach for some fresh air. Miss Annersley agrees to send her with Jacynth and Kathie. She sends for Annis to tell her, and urges her to end her rebellion, but she continues to refuse.
On the boat over to Carnbach, the girls notice a man with a small girl with her legs in irons sitting near the back, who scowls at them when she sees them. When the man begins to talk to the girl about the seabirds, Miss Linton realises that he is Kester Bellever, the famous naturalist, who is the warden of the sea bird sanctuary on St Brandon Mawr, one of the other nearby islands. The CS girls are fascinated by his talk and fall silent to listen. When they reach Carnbach, Miss Linton tells the girls who he is, and that the little girl is Cherry Christy.
Meanwhile, Annis, Jacynth and Kathie walk along the shore, and spot Mr Bellever putting Cherry into a small boat. As he is doing so, one of her crutches falls into the sea, and Annis wades in after it before anyone else. This, combined with the walk and the trip into town, succeeds in shaking her out of her sulks, and when she returns to the school she goes to Miss Annersley and says she will apologise to Mlle.
One rainy Saturday, Mary-Lou, Ruth Barnes and Phil Craven are summoned from mending by Matron to remake their beds, meaning they have to continue mending into the afternoon with an irate Kathie supervising them. Her biting remarks rouse Phil into a temper, and when she finally goes along to the common room and joins in a game of Impertinent Questions, she maliciously asks who cheats at sums, aiming her question deliberately at Ruth, who had once been involved in a mix-up regarding doing her sums and then looking up the answers at the back of the textbook. Her question causes instant uproar, culminating in a free fight involving the entire form which brings Miss Annersley on the scene. She sends them all to bed, puts them into silence, and then the next day relegates the form to Kindergarten status for the rest of the term, forbids them going to Carnbach until after half-term, and docks them of all conduct marks for the next week. She also gives Mary-Lou, Vi and Phil an extra talking to, especially Phil.
Jo arrives to spend a few days at the school, and goes first to the chemistry lab where she meets Miss Wilson and some of the Sixths, then goes to see Matey, then visits the rest of the Sixths who are with Mlle. When the bell goes, she leaves them with a tantalising hint that an extra thrill is arriving for them on the morrow.
That evening, Kester Bellever comes to the school to give a lecture on sea birds. Commander Christy, who is operating the lantern for the slides, brings a reluctant Cherry with him. After the lecture, Jo goes to speak to the Commander, and he introduces Cherry, who is a big fan of Jo’s books. She asks if Jo made up the school in her books, and Jo replies that the CS is the school. Startled, Cherry begins to come round to the idea of going to school, and Jo capitalises on it by catching Mary-Lou and getting her to bring over her own gang to make friends. Her scheme succeeds in getting Cherry’s dislike of the school to thaw.
The following afternoon, the girls are instructed to collect their bathing things before marching down to Kittiwake Cove, where they find Jo, Len and Con awaiting them with Jo’s surprise: five new rowing boats for the school, one for each House. Jo explains that she and Jack contributed one, Madge and Jem a second, twenty three Old Girls a third, the Chesters, Lucys and Ozannes a fourth, and Ernest and Gwensi Howell the fifth. The girls spend all afternoon getting acquainted with rowing and enjoying their picnic.
The next day, Jo joins the Sixths while they are doing their mending, and they tell her about their various future plans. Upon hearing that one of them, Mary Ireson, plans to enter a Community, Jo tells them about Luigia di Ferrara, who became a Poor Clare and died in a concentration camp after being transferred to a German convent.
That afternoon the Sixths, Jo and several mistresses set off to St Brandon Mawr, where they are met by Mr Bellever and taken on a tour of the island, and given another lecture on sea birds.
The following weekend, Kathie, Nancy Canton, Tom, Bride and Anne Webster discuss Annis, who has been looking angry and upset each time the post has come with no letter for her. Tom, whose uncle knew the Lovells, explains that Annis’s father was in the Merchant Navy and his ship was lost off the Horn two years ago. Annis had been at a day school and living with friends of her mother’s, but when her aunt assumed guardianship of her, she disapproved of the said friends – the Maples – and took her away to live in boarding houses, much to Annis’s fury. Kathie, believing that Annis is going to break out again and will end up getting expelled if she does, believes the Heads should be told about Annis’s home situation, but the Fifth formers insist they told her in confidence, so she agrees to say nothing.
Annis’s anticipated letter finally arrives, and she reads it eagerly, hoping that it will be granting her permission to spend the summer with the Maples as she has asked. To her bitter disappointment, the letter refuses permission, and also rebukes her for her low place in form, pointing out that she needs to do well at school in order to get a good job and look after herself, as her father has left her comparatively little money and Mrs Bain has no intention of supporting her beyond school age. A furious Annis vows she will not go back to Mrs Bain no matter what.
Miss Burn takes the Fifth forms out for a rowing lesson, and when they return, Bride asks if they can hold inter-house races, as the Inter-House Rowing Cup is still at the Round House and could be brought into use again. Miss Burn agrees to bring it up at the next staff meeting.
That night, Annis ponders what to do about the situation with her aunt. She finally determines that, as she will be sixteen by the end of term, she will leave school then and go her own way from then on. The next day, she writes to her aunt expressing these intentions, and says that she wants to be a nurse, and so can begin to earn her own living at once.
Mrs Bain’s reply arrives that weekend, and she refuses to allow Annis to leave school before the age of eighteen, pointing out that no hospital would take her before then anyway. She catechises Annis for not showing gratitude for all that is being done for her, and states that she will not agree to her being able to touch her father’s money until she is of age.
That afternoon the girls visit the monastery on the nearby island of St Bride’s, and Dickie turns up in her father’s boat to row some of the girls over. Annis is among this group, and as they are rowing, Dickie reveals that Cherry has just been for a hospital visit, and the doctors believe she will be able to swap her crutches for a stick by the following year, and should be completely well again by the time she is grown up. She also reveals that Cherry has finally agreed to come to school, stating that when the idea was first posited to her, she had threatened to get a boat and run away to America. This gives Annis an idea.
The school holds a regatta as the end-of-term entertainment, and Mary-Lou wins the open swimming race, while Annis wins the Senior single oar race. St Agnes wins the Junior inter-house race, while Ste Thérèse wins the Senior race by half a length. The final race, a tub race, is won by Leslie Pitt and Molly McNab.
Annis decides to carry out her plan to run away, and one night she slips out of her dormitory through the window and goes down to Kittiwake Cove, wrenching her ankle slightly when she trips in a rut in the lane on the way. She takes St Hild’s boat and sets out for the mainland, but quickly gets caught in the currents around the island, and a thick mist comes down. She pulls fruitlessly against the current and loses an oar blade in the process. When the boat finally hits against some rock, she makes a leap for it with her oar stump and lands on a ledge.
When the mist begins to lift, she realises that the rocks she is on are covered in seaweed, meaning they will be covered at high tide. Fighting her fear and the pain in her foot, she begins to climb the nearby cliff, and encounters a rusted ladder which helps her reach a ledge which is out of reach of the tide, where she promptly faints from the reaction. When she comes round, she is discovered by Kester Bellever, and realises that she has landed on Vendell, the other bird sanctuary island that he is the warden of. He binds up her ankle and carries her to his hut.
Annis sleeps the whole day, and when she wakes up that evening, she finds the Cherry Christy and a BBC engineer called Mr Amberley are at the hut also, doing a broadcast on sea birds for the Children’s Hour. She tells Mr Bellever about her adventure and why she ran away, and he tells her that he has broadcast a message over the radio that she is safe, knowing that someone will hear it and tell the school.
The next day – breaking up day – Annis is returned to the school, and to her astonishment she is welcomed warmly instead of being expelled as she expected. Her astonishment is complete when Miss Annersley tells her that her father and his men have been found safe near Kerguelen Land and are on their way home. After Matron has swept the dazed Annis off to the San, Jo states that she would love to be present when Captain Lovell faces off against Mrs Bain over her doings, and how she would also love to be able to give her own opinion of her.
That September, at the end of the summer holidays, the Maynards spend a week with the Christys, and Jo reveals that she got her wish after all. While staying at Penny Rest, a guest house in Cornwall, she was in a curtained alcove writing a letter when she overheard a most explosive row between Mrs Bain, who happened to be staying there also, and the newly-returned Captain Lovell. When they began talking about money matters – where she learnt that Mrs Bain had used some of Annis’s money to give herself an annuity – she felt compelled to make her presence known. Later, Mrs Bain came to her to try and make herself look nicer, and Jo took the opportunity to give her unvarnished opinion of her.

So, thoughts on Island? Do you think it was a wise move on EBD’s part to move the school again? What do you think of the island location? Thoughts on Annis and her exploits? What about the Christys and Kester Bellever? Post below!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 00:45 
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I can see why EBD decided to move the school, and she took full advantage of the new location with Annis's escapade.

Kester Bellever and Dickie Christy are likeable new characters, and I enjoy the Juniors' fight.

Overall, though, this isn't a favourite of mine. Jo is back front and centre, after having been more in the background in Three Go. And I really think her behaviour over the Penny Rest incident was inexcusable. Possibly it's debatable whether she should or shouldn't have made her presence known immediately Mrs Bain and Capt. Lovell began their row.

She certainly had no business repeating it all to the Christys. If EBD needed her to tell anyone, as a way of getting the information across to the reader, it should have been Hilda or Nell, who did have some need to know. If Madge had been there, she could have told Madge, but this book is the beginning of the sidelining of Madge, with her banishment to Canada.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 07:59 
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One of my least favourite of the series! Kester Bellever's lecture for me is the most boring scene in the whole series! Only positive for me in this book is the introduction of Annis who should have featured more prominently in the following books.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 08:03 
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I don't mind this one because it's something different. I assume EBD had realised that moving back to Austria wasn't going to be an immediate option, and decided to find a location within the UK which had more potential for drama than Herefordshire.

I love the Impertinent Questions fight! I also find Jo annoying, though. And I think claiming that there were structural problems at Plas Gwyn at exactly the same time as there were structural problems at Plas Howell was really pushing it! And what about poor Jack? He couldn't have commuted from Carnbach to the San every day, so presumably he had to stay near the San on his own for much of the week. I really like Dickie, though, and I quite like the storyline with Annis, as Naughty Girls stories go. Cherry is an interesting character, as well. I'm sorry that we don't see any more of her. A lot of CS girls are "delicate", but it's rare to see a storyline involving someone with a specific, ongoing medical condition, and I'd like to have seen her as one of the Gang ... but maybe (unlike Naomi's aunt) they accepted that she might struggle with the physical demands of living in the Alps and all the winter sports etc.

What spoils it for me, though, is that Madge and Jem are kicked out of the way, and never play much of a part in the series again. That really upsets me. I think the characters deserved more respect, and I think the series loses something for not having them involved. I could understand it if EBD wanted to focus solely on the school and just to have Hilda and Nell in the role of Wise Adults, but what happens is that the Russells are booted out so that the Maynards can take centre stage.

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Last edited by Alison H on 27 Jun 2017, 09:03, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 08:17 
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Laura V wrote:
One of my least favourite of the series! Kester Bellever's lecture for me is the most boring scene in the whole series!


The bird bits do go on a bit, don't they? Someone must have given EBD a Bumper Book of Birds or something for Christmas, with all that info-dumping.

It's such a shame that the Russells are sidelined from here onwards to make Jo more prominent, because I like her the less for it. I really like Armishire era Jo, involved in the odd school affair but with plenty of outside interests as well, and Madge was there to act as a brake on her OTTness. But from here on EBD grows really obsessed with her, shoehorning her into scenes unnecessarily, and spoiling the character for me, really.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 10:24 
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Laura V wrote:
One of my least favourite of the series! Kester Bellever's lecture for me is the most boring scene in the whole series!


Thank heaven I am not the only one - I skip the bird bits as well.

Alison H wrote:
Cherry is an interesting character, as well. I'm sorry that we don't see any more of her.


I love Cherry and wish she made her way to Switzerland. I thought she was going to be there and then she presumably gets left behind at Glendower House.

Alison H wrote:
And I think claiming that there were structural problems at Plas Gwyn at exactly the same time as there were structural problems at Plas Howell was really pushing it!


Plas Howell actually has drainage problems, but I see what you mean. And there really is NO place closer to the San that Joey and Jack can move to? It really does seem like Joey is stalking the school by moving every time they do :D

JayB wrote:
And I really think her behaviour over the Penny Rest incident was inexcusable. Possibly it's debatable whether she should or shouldn't have made her presence known immediately Mrs Bain and Capt. Lovell began their row.

She certainly had no business repeating it all to the Christys.


The lengths she goes to NOT to eavesdrop she might as well come right out and admit she was eavesdropping. But then again, if people insist on having fights in public ...

Reminds me of when I was at a cafe and the woman next to me was clearly having a fight with her husband on the phone. She hangs up and glares at me and says "hope you had fun listening!" I really did try not to listen but short of literally leaving the cafe, it was impossible.

Joey shouldn't have repeated it but I love the image of the four of them sitting round having a lovely old gossip. Knowing all the time that had it been anyone else Joey would have got all high and mighty and condemned it.

Actually there is a lot of gossip in this book. Ivy Norman rejoins the staff and gossips about Joyce Linton to Gillian Linton's peers and it never occurs to her to be tactful when talking about her when her sister might walk in the staffroom at any minute.

It appears Ivy has held a grudge for all those years and when she's updated on Joyce's life she says "oh she would be too selfish to have children!" She only knew Joyce as a girl who admittedly was very rude to her, but she needs to just let it go.

Cheers,
Joyce

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Last edited by Joyce on 27 Jun 2017, 12:17, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 10:43 
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I think this book marks the beginning of a slide in the series. The removal of Madge was a huge mistake in my opinion. I also think Joey starts to become very annoying and self centred at this stage. She makes a big dramatic announcement re the contribution of the boats to the school, even though she wasn't the only contributor. She has to be almost pushed out of the way by Hilda when Annis is brought back to the school, because she's up in her face going 'guess who's here, go on guess' when it is absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with her.

And her behaviour when she stayed with the Christies was awful. First of all making a big deal about Mike's teething and how stressful it all was with no seeming thought for the fact that the Christies have a disabled child, then holding court about her overheard conversation with such self importance. I always imagine Commander Christie in his bedroom that night saying to his wife 'He's a nice enough chap, but please don't ask that woman to stay ever again'.


Last edited by Vintagejazz on 27 Jun 2017, 16:40, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 12:19 
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I suppose Jo might have felt the loss of the social circle she'd had through the war years. Robin, who'd been such a companion and support, off living her own life; Simone off back to France and Frieda to Switzerland; Janie Lucy back to Guernsey; and now Madge to Canada. She was fond of Doris Trelawney, but they didn't have much in common.

But following the school to S. Wales was a bit OTT. Surely she could have found a house nearer to Armiford that would have suited her needs? Why not the Round House, since it was standing empty?

And the house in Carnbach really doesn't sound as if it would have been big enough for everyone who'd have been there in the holidays.

I wonder Madge didn't leave David, Sybil and Primula to the Bettanys rather than to Jo. They're more of an age with the Bettany children, so would have slotted in better - especially David, who'd have no companions anywhere near his own age at the Maynards'. The Bettanys have the space, and Mollie's health isn't yet giving cause for concern.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 15:08 
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There's a throwaway sentence in this which always intrigues me. When Joey gets drenched in a storm whilst on the ferry from Carnbach, she says that she's "a drookit craw", and then says that it's a Scottish expression which she got from Jem. It's clear from umpteen other references that Jem and Margot are English, but that clearly suggests a Scottish connection - maybe an English dad and a Scottish mum, or one Scottish grandparent? We're told virtually nothing about Jem's background, other than that his parents disowned Margot because of her marriage, and the general impression that he comes from a well-to-do family, and must have gone to a public school because he knows so many people in high places ... and then EBD gives us a hint and never, ever mentions it again :banghead:!


ETA - Jem picked Ailie's name, didn't he? Aline's the French spelling, I think, but maybe he had a Scottish grandma called Aileen, whom he had very fond memories of, and he named Ailie after her :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 15:28 
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Quote:
It's clear from umpteen other references that Jem and Margot are English, but that clearly suggests a Scottish connection - maybe an English dad and a Scottish mum, or one Scottish grandparent?

Or a Scottish Nanny?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 15:30 
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Alison H wrote:
ETA - Jem picked Ailie's name, didn't he? Aline's the French spelling, I think, but maybe he had a Scottish grandma called Aileen, whom he had very fond memories of, and he named Ailie after her :D .


In G&S it's pronounced 'Al-een' in The Sorcerer. Wonder if Elinor knew their operas at all? :pirate:

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 15:40 
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This book is an excellent example of how EBD reprised situations from the Tyrol days. While I can swallow whole the Eustacia-clinging-to-the-rocks scenario in Austria, I find Annis's near-death less plausible - and then of course it gets repeated later with Joey and Mary-Lou on the Tiernsee visit. The snowstorms in Tom and Lavender are similar - Lavender in the drift was a bit unlikely in Wales!
I can't do with all the bird stuff, either, and having kept goats myself I find Kester Bellever's set-up utterly implausible.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 16:42 
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I do think the books started to become a bit repetitive from this point, and fitted far more into the normal formula of girls' school stories than the previous ones.

I really think the best of the series was over by this stage and the Island and Swiss books are not in the same league as the previous ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 17:05 
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This was my very first CS book so it clearly made an impression on me! From then on CS books featured on every Christmas and birthday present list. The early ones were all still easily available in children's bookshops and the rest I got as they were published.

I actually don't reread Island very much. It's very action-packed isn't it? I love all the Kester Bellever stuff and the scene in Penny Rest. We used to stay in a hotel when I was a child that had exactly the sort of room that Joey was eavesdropping in so I have always been able to visualise the set-up.

I don't have the same problems with Joey's presence or actions that most people seem to. The more of Jo there is in any book actually, the happier I am.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 17:17 
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Goodness, Kester and his birds are my favorite part! I think EBD does an excellent job parceling out the nature study between the lantern show, the ferry, and the two nature preserve islands. (Goats I associate only with the monks.) I also like the way Kester interacts with Cherry; I doubt that Jo would have made much progress with her if he hadn't broken the ice so thoroughly. And Cherry then has far more impact on Annis than anyone at the CS, Joey included. I'm not sure whether I appreciated Annis that much until Lisa T's GGBP prequel (Difficult Term) brought more depth to her character. Nowadays I read it and Island as a pair.

I don't mind the contriving to get Joey on the scene, since she's the glue that holds the series together. My credulity is more strained by the timing of Annis' father's resurrection to the exact day of her exploit (especially right on top of Verity-Ann's reappearing father scene just one book ago). As for Mrs. Bain, she's one of the nastiest villains in the series, and especially as a kid I'd have been very upset if she didn't get her comeuppance. Maybe it could have been accomplished differently, but we had to know!

Plus for proper CS relaxation, we have Impertinent Questions and the tub race. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 11:14 
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First Lesson
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JayB wrote:
Quote:
It's clear from umpteen other references that Jem and Margot are English, but that clearly suggests a Scottish connection - maybe an English dad and a Scottish mum, or one Scottish grandparent?

Or a Scottish Nanny?


Or he read Medicine at Edinburgh? Hasn't that always been one of the best medical schools in the country?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 11:45 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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I think we're told that Jack went to Edinburgh. I don't think we're ever told where Jem went. We know next to nothing about him. Until Margot turns up (or unless something's cut out of a hardback that I haven't got?), we don't even know that his parents are dead, and the first time anyone mentions that he's got a sister is at Sybil's naming party. But he may well have gone to Edinburgh: EBD seems to be quite keen on it for medical training (although I think Daisy went to London).

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 16:56 
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Climbing with your knees bent
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I don't mind it but it isn't one of my favourites. I don't find the bird stuff very interesting, but I quite like Kester. I like the Christy family and the way their integration with the school is explored. But I find the events involving Annis get a bit far fetched, and I don't like the way Joey gets shoehorned in.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 19:24 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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Just a thought - the link between the School and the San, which is such a big thing in Austria and to some extent in Switzerland, is broken during the island years. People being treated at the San would have no reason to send their daughters to a school that was miles away (Google says 120 miles from Hereford to Tenby :D), and there aren't even any doctors nearby. When Julie Lucy's taken ill, in Bride, a doctor comes over from Carnbach on his personal motorboat!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School and the Island
PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 20:03 
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Spending time in the san
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Island was one of my first few jumble sale battered paperbacks, so I have rather a soft spot for it. I like the Annis storyline, and can empathise with her feelings of grief and frustration and powerlessness throughout, and how counterproductive the effect is on her school life.

I rather like her running away, I think its very well written, and really feel her fear, climbing the broken ladder with a rising tide behind her. And I love the way Kester B is introduced, and becomes Annis's rescuer, along with Cherry.

Joey's role - well, she is the plot device to tell us the whole story, and I don't mind that in the least. I'm sure there are other ways EBD could have written it, but I enjoy the Joey version that we actually get.

I very much enjoy all of the islands books, in many ways they are the most classic school stories in the series, and the new characters intruced are fun and fresh.


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