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 Post subject: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 00:02 
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This week the discussion thread is on Carola Storms the Chalet School, first published in 1951 and covering the Easter term following Peggy. Fourteen year old Carola Johnstone, who is living with a cousin of her father’s while her parents are abroad in Africa, runs away to join the Chalet School without telling anyone, enthralled by the tales told by Biddy O’Ryan, who returns to the school this term as history mistress. Meanwhile, romance is in the air for Hilary Burn, and a near tragedy has an unexpected result for Grizel Cochrane. (Is this starting to sound like an episode description for a soap opera?)

The first chapter opens on New Year’s Day with Carola having a blazing row with her father’s cousin, Miss Curry, who is refusing to listen to her pleas to be allowed to go to the Chalet School, and instead insisting that she accompany her to Jamaica, with a governess for lessons and companionship.
Carola runs off to her room and cries herself to sleep, and when she wakes up that night and reads the note her cousin has left for her stating there will be no more discussion on the subject, she vows she will not go to Jamaica no matter what.
The next day, Carola arrives at breakfast to the news that the governess Miss Curry had engaged has broken her leg and will not be going to Jamaica with them. Carola is secretly delighted, as it means she will have a much easier time slipping away, and when they go up to London that day for clothes shopping, she manages to purchase a brown coat, beret, velveteen and raincoat without her cousin suspecting anything.
Meanwhile, at Cartref, Jo welcomes Biddy O’Ryan, freshly returned from a four-year sojourn in Australia, for a brief visit before the latter takes up the post of history mistress at the school. Jo gives her the latest news of the school and the MBR clan, and we learn amongst other things that Robin had chosen to take up social service, but wasn’t strong enough for it and ended up with a cold she couldn’t shake off, and so she is now in Switzerland on holiday with Zephyr Burthill to recuperate.
Biddy in turn describes her stay in Australia, and also her acquaintance with Carola over Christmas at Penny Rest, which is how Carola found out about the CS and started her longing to attend.
The day of the voyage to Jamaica – and also, fortunately for Carola’s plans, the first day of the new term at the CS – arrives, and Carola manages to give Miss Curry the slip at the docks at Southampton, before making her way to the train station to catch a train to Cardiff, then Swansea, where she reports herself as a new girl to Miss Slater and Miss Burn. As there is a scribble at the bottom of the list of names that they think could be hers, they take her word for it, and she finds herself being sheepdogged by Clem Barrass for the rest of the journey to St Briavel’s.
Carola’s lack of school badges, two suitcases instead of one, and lack of an assigned peg in the Splashery raise eyebrows, but it is only when the roll is called during the first night assembly that she is finally found out, and Miss Annersley sends her to the study.
After Carola explains herself to an astonished Miss Annersley, cables are dispatched to Miss Curry on the ship and Carola’s parents reassuring them she is safe at the school, and Carola herself is sent to bed in Clem’s dormitory. The two Heads, Biddy, Miss Burn and Rosalie Dene discuss the situation afterwards, and agree that while Carola has been very silly, she had some excuse, and that there is nothing further they can do until they hear from Carola’s parents how things are to proceed. Everyone with knowledge of the affair, including Carola, is instructed to keep it quiet to avoid the other girls getting to hear about it.
Carola spends the next day getting acquainted with the school routine, and after the morning walk sits the entrance papers to determine her form. Miss Annersley summons her to the study afterwards and informs her that they have heard from Miss Curry, who has stated that she will have nothing further to do with her after the worry she caused her when it was discovered she was missing. They will now have to wait to hear what Dr and Mrs Johnstone want them to do with her. In the meantime, she has done well enough in the entrance papers to go into Lower Fifth B with Clem. Jo is also present at the interview, and Carola is delighted that she has at least had the chance to meet Josephine Bettany, even if she is made to leave the school afterwards.
A few days later, Carola is summoned to the study once again, where Miss Annersley tells her that Dr Johnstone is flying home to see to things himself, much to Carola’s horror. Miss Annersley reminds her that she should have written to her parents about wanting to go to school instead of taking the law into her own hands as she did, but also tells her that the Johnstones want her to remain at the CS.
Dr Johnstone arrives and stays at Cartref, as Jack “Jigger” Maynard happens to be an old friend. When Jo remarks to him that Carola is nearly fifteen, he is astonished, as he had been visualising her as the eleven year old they had last seen before going out to Africa. He concedes that while his cousin was conscientious enough, Carola was certainly right that she needed school.
The next day, Miss Annersley brings Carola across to Carnbach, and Jo escorts her to Cartref to meet her father. After an emotional reunion, Dr Johnstone agrees that she may stay at the school she chose, but will have to justify it with hard work and good behaviour, to which Carola agrees. She spends the following afternoon with him as well before he returns to Calabar, and he tells her that she will spend her holidays with the Maynards – barring the coming Easter holidays, as the Maynards are going to Canada for three months then.
Carola starts to settle in at the school properly, but her unorthodox method of arrival means that she still lacks certain items such as a paint box, and her ignorance of things which are explained in the prospectus – such as the Hobbies club, the Sale and the school’s connection with the San – arouse the suspicions of Clem, Gillian Moggeridge and several others.
After several days of snow and frost, the weather clears enough for the school to go out for a walk. Biddy takes the Fifths along to Kittiwake Cove, and the roads are so icy that everyone struggles to keep their feet. As they begin to descend a slope to head back home, several people lose their footing, resulting in almost all the girls sliding or rolling to the bottom of the slope. Biddy tries to rush to the rescue, but skids and crashes into a telegraph pole instead. Jo meets them, attracted to the scene by all the noise, and escorts them home just as the snow starts again.
Everyone is kept to the house while the snow goes on, and on the Monday Miss Annersley announces that, as the school at large needs to improve their German, this will be an extra German day instead of French, much to everyone’s disgust.
Miss Slater takes Lower Fifth B for a maths lesson and, as her German is shaky, she sets them tests to do where no speaking is involved. However, Biddy comes for a history lesson next, and on discovering that Polly Winterton and Carola can’t understand her, she is astonished and unamused, especially at Carola, who freely admits right at the start of her questioning that she has done no German previously and hasn’t understood a word of the lesson.
The Staff continue to be very strict over the girls’ German over the next few weeks, much to their fury, and after Vi Lucy is made to repeat a German phrase seventeen times and rages about it – in English, with no shortage of slang – to her friends afterwards, only to be caught and punished by Miss Wilson, the prefects are hauled in and catechised for not being stricter with the Juniors and Middles over slang, much to their own indignation.
When the prefects discuss the Vi episode amongst themselves, Peggy reveals that, while moving the school back to Austria is still out of the question, there is the possibility of Switzerland. She says that a branch of the San is opening in the Bernese Oberland, and as German is the native tongue there, she thinks that is why the Staff are making such a fuss about their German. They then discuss what to do about stopping the Middles using so much slang, and Nita Eltringham suggests they make any culprits look up the proper meanings of slang words in the dictionary and copy them out in their best handwriting. The prefects agree to start the idea after half-term, which begins in two days’ time.
The half-term weekend lasts six days due to an early Easter, and Carola and Jean Ackroyd are the two eldest of the ten girls left behind. Matron gives them leave to go over to Carnbach after seeing the rest of the girls off, and they spend a pleasant morning wandering around the town and meeting Daisy Venables outside Cartref – which Carola fails to recognise in a fabulous EBDism – before joining the other girls to meet Kester Bellever at the Christys’ house for the afternoon.
The next day the party visits Pembroke Castle, then heads on to Bosherton lily pools. Signa Björnessen dashes along the causeway to see a water-rat, misses her footing and falls into the water, where she gets caught in the weeds. Carola and Miss Burn jump in to try and free her, and a passing man and his dog rush over to help. They manage to free Signa and revive her, and the man – Dr Graves – takes them all back to his house, where he and his sisters dispense hot baths, clean clothes and tea. Carola goes back to the school with the rest, but Miss Burn, Signa and her sister Thyra remain behind until they are recovered enough to return.
The school returns on the Tuesday evening, and the staff discuss the lily pools affair. Miss Burn, who had developed a high temperature and bad chest as a result of being in her wet clothes so long, is getting better. The staff commend Carola’s actions, and Miss Wilson decides to tell those who don’t already know about how she gate-crashed the school. She also reveals that she has had a letter from Miss Curry announcing her engagement to a Mr Lucas whom she met on the boat, and that she would have had to make alternative arrangements for Carola anyway in that case, much to the indignation of the staff.
Carola herself then arrives to announce that while on her way to the bathroom for a drink of water, she encountered Con Maynard sleepwalking. While Matey goes to see about it, the staff wonder what has triggered it, as she hasn’t sleepwalked for over a year.
Matron makes enquiries about what Con has been eating that could have triggered the sleepwalking, but nothing untoward is revealed, and Jo denies having given he anything extra at half-term that could have set her off. She also confides in Miss Annersley that she is pregnant again, due in October. Therefore when Con has a wild nightmare three nights later and rouses half the school with her yells, the Head decides to write to Jack so as not to give Jo extra worry.
Jack arrives and takes Len and Con home for the afternoon, but returns them that evening none the wiser as to Con’s trigger. The following week, Jo rings up with the news that Stephen has begun German measles, although as he wasn’t there when Len and Con visited she thinks they should be safe. However, by the next week Mary-Lou has developed it, swiftly followed by thirty six others.
Carola is asked to step in as a dormitory prefect during the epidemic, and ends up in charge of Con’s dormitory. She spots Con sleepwalking again one night and gets her back into bed. When she fetches Biddy and they return to the dormitory, however, Con has vanished. They search the whole school, waking up Peggy and Miss Annersley in the process, before finally Con is discovered in the coal cellar.
Jack arrives the following evening, and he and Miss Annersley catch Con trying to sleepwalk again. He puts her back in bed, then wakes her up and asks what she was dreaming about. She tells him about a horse that lives at the bottom of waterfalls and steals little girls away to eat them. Jack reassures Con, and she goes back to sleep happy. He believes she means kelpies, but Miss Annersley guesses it is a Norse superstition, and that Signa is behind it. She interviews her and puts a ban on any more scary stories, much to Signa’s disgust.
Lower Fifth has a cookery lesson, and decide to make doughnuts. As there is not enough vegetable oil, Clem suggests they borrow some of Matey’s olive oil, and Carola is sent to fetch it. As Matey is not in her room, Carola, after a fruitless search for her, decides to just take the jar anyway. However, she takes cod-liver oil instead of olive oil, and the school gets the full beauty of the result at tea time, much to Matron’s amusement when she discovers what happened.
With two weeks to go until the Sale, which this year is to have a theme of Many Nations, the Fifth Forms have still not come up with an idea for the dolls’ house competition. Eventually, Carola hits upon the idea of making a list of all the materials used to make the house, and getting entrants to guess as many as possible, with the person getting the most correct winning the house. Everyone is delighted with this idea, and the final list comprises forty eight materials.
The Sale is held, and the dolls’ house is won by Con, who gets thirty seven materials correct. That evening, Grizel instructs Carola and Len to bring her purchases along to her music room. When they arrive, she is re-reading a letter she has just received and is in a black mood. She lights up a cigarette and tosses the match towards the fireplace, but it misses and lands in the basket Len is carrying, setting it and her on fire. Carola beats out the flames with her bare hands and Len suffers no worse than a long scorch on one arm and the shock, but Carola’s hands are badly burnt and she passes out, and when Dr Peters, who was representing the San at the Sale, is summoned to tend to her, he believes one of her fingers has been weakened seriously from the damage.
Meanwhile, Biddy tends to Grizel, who confides in her that the reason she was so angry was that she had just received a letter from her stepmother refusing her access to her father’s money. Grizel had asked to be able to use it in order to help Deira O’Hagan, who is widowed and living in New Zealand, to buy a business there, and so be able to finally escape teaching music.
Biddy repeats the story to Miss Annersley, who in turn lends Grizel the money herself, knowing how much she hates teaching music. We also learn that Miss Burn has become engaged to Dr Graves, and Daisy Venables is engaged to a doctor at her hospital.
After hearing the full story – and being placated by the Head – Jo visits Len and Con, then Grizel, then Carola, and assures the latter that she will be spending at least part of the holidays with them before they sail for Canada.

So, thoughts on this entry? Do you like Carola as a character? What about her unorthodox method of enrolment at the school? What do you think of Biddy's return as history mistress? Did you like the half-term trip? Thoughts on the sleepwalking and German conversation subplots? What about the match incident?

I like this book. I enjoy Carola as a character and her various adventures, and I love the description of everyone sliding down the slope during the walk, especially the bit about Biddy affectionately embracing a telegraph pole. :lol: Also Frank Peters gets a cameo! :D Poor Grizel, though. :(

Note: I shall be down south from Saturday 15th until Tuesday 18th. I will try and do the Wrong thread on schedule, but if I don’t get the chance to, it will appear on Tuesday night when I’m back home. If I’m not crashed out asleep in my bed after the long drive, that is.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 00:57 
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This was the first CS book I read. I got it from the library when I was no older than ten, probably eight or nine. I'd been through Malory Towers and St Clare's by then and was ready for something more complex than Enid Blyton.

I remember finding the chapter with Jo and Biddy very confusing, I had no idea who they were or what they had to do with Carola. I thought the story of Biddy's reason for going to Australia and her time there must have been told in an earlier book.

Once the book settled down to the story of Carola escaping from the boat and making her way to school, though, I was hooked.

The Grizel storyline didn't mean much to me, because I didn't 'know' Grizel.

Running away to school is a good, original idea, and EBD follows through with the consequences even after Carola is settled at school.

I thought Biddy was unreasonable in being cross with Carola for saying she hadn't understood the lesson in German. She's new to the school and had never learned German before; what was she supposed to say?

One thing I like in this book, which never happens once they get to Switzerland, is Carola and Jean being sent off to Carnbach together for the morning.

It's a pity the Con-Carola friendship wasn't followed up, but I suppose the Maynards going off to Canada put an end to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 06:13 
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I have only ever read this book in pb form so I don't know if I have missed anything.

Unusual someone running away to school but why didn't Carola write and tell her parents the way she felt.

Although I liked Carola's father I don't know if I thought much of him because he knew so little about Carola. Why did his wife not fill him in on Carola's age?

Where anyway was Mrs Johnston? Why did she not come over with her husband? Had she some kind of illness? If Dr Johnston was incapable of looking after himself why did she not hire help and stay with Carola until Carola was old enough to go to school?

The German thing rattled me. Surely it was important that Biddy knew girls had not understood her lesson? How could they understand the lesson after such a short time of learning German? Apart from when a language was being taught, I think all classes in the CS should have been in English and French/German spoken outwith.

I felt so sorry for Grizel - no luck. Biddy was nice standing up for her and Jo's reaction human.

I liked Carola. She was brave and took no prisoners hence her shaking of Mary-Lou.

Last time we see dear Rufus.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 06:35 
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I'm sorry that we lose Grizel for several years after this book, but I think she was stuck in a rut and needed to get away. Her stepmother's behaviour is horrible, and her father's will not letting her have the money until she was 35 shows how he wanted to control her even after he'd died, but it was so kind of Hilda to lend her the money.

Running away to school is something different, and this is one book in which the narrative admits that dumping your kids whilst you go abroad can actually cause all sorts of problems. It's nice that Dr Johnstone turns out to be an old mate of Jack's, as well: Jack and Jem must sometimes have felt overwhelmed by all these people with CS connections!

I sympathise with Pam Slater. I did French and Spanish for GCSE, but no way could I suddenly do my job in them for two days a week. And Biddy seems to have no patience: just because she speaks fluent German, she seems to think everyone else should too!

My favourite scene in this is when Carola meets Daisy, and reacts as if she's just been introduced to an A-list celeb :D. Daisy doesn't always get a lot of recognition for her achievements, so I love Carola's reaction!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 09:46 
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I do like the enthusiastic naiveté of Carola's plot. It's blindingly obvious to the reader that it will fall apart completely the moment she arrives at school, with no record of her enrolment, no fees paid, and her weirdly cobbled together luggage, but it's obvious that she hasn't thought beyond arriving at the school.

I can understand Carola being reluctant to tell her parents that she hated her life - she hasn't seen them for years, they're the one who set up the situation, and her aunt, who is the one raising her, doesn't understand Carola's frustration. And her parents can't manage to remember how old their only child is, and apparently haven't given any thought to the quality of her education or future plans, so it's not like she has any reason to expect them to agree with her.

I wonder if Biddy came back to the CS expecting the level of German ability that was present in the Tyrol days? It's four terms since the school re-introduced German, only two of the staff and a handful of students are native speakers, most of the mistresses were not hired with German speaking as a job requirement, they get two days a week of the language, and live in an English speaking country.

In the Tyrol days, the domestic staff were all locals, a significant fraction of the students were native or fluent speakers, and any interactions outside of the school gad to be in German. So I wouldn't be surprised if even the long term students were still struggling, let alone a brand new student. It takes a fair amount of courage for a student to admit that they didn't understand a word of the lesson, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 10:30 
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This is one of the better Island books. I like the way EBD subverts the idea of running away from school and she doesn't drag it on to unbelievable levels but has Carola found out very quickly once she actually arrives at the school.

Less believable is the fact that her father had no idea of her age. Would his wife never have remarked that 'Carola would be 12 today' etc over the years. Also, given how quickly her father was able to get over to the UK to sort out the school situation, why did he and his wife never come to England to visit Carola. And why did his wife not accompany him on his trip?

This book is also another example of Joey eagerly taking someone under her wing, and then just dropping them a few months later. In this book she is in 'loco parentis' to Carola, but in future books she's just Mrs Maynard and there's no suggestion of any particularly close relationship.

I felt so sorry for Grizel in this book, and glad that Miss Annersley stepped in and rescued her from a life that was making her increasingly bitter and miserable.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 10:51 
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I love this book which has always been one of my favourites. The running off to school is unusual and quite bonkers, but Carola shows initiative and actually gets there. I like the way she buys herself a book, some food and enjoys the journey. There are some oddities such as Clem going to the hatch to pick up their supper plates. 300 girls - really? It's never been self-service before. Best EBDism ever when C can't recognise Jo's house and Daisy let's it slip that C is the girl who ran away to school. Jean doesn't say a word, perhaps because she is Scots and therefore shrewd? Jo is reasonable in this one and simply kind to C though I agree she is just dropped later. Biddy is fairly awful about the German and a bit too upfront in the Staffroom for a new young teacher. Grizel storyline works though EBD can't resist fast-forwarding to G returning five years later on a visit to England a 'different woman' as the reality was quite different.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 12:18 
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Quote:
it was so kind of Hilda to lend [Grizel] the money.

Yes, but I wonder if she wasn't also taking the opportunity, in Madge's absence, to get Grizel gone from the school. She must have known Grizel was unhappy, and that she wasn't liked as a teacher. The whole thing could be presented to Madge as a fait accompli.

There was that conversation in Gay about Madge not wanting to let Grizel go, but I think that by this stage Hilda is sufficiently well established in the Headship to tell Madge the good of the school must come before Madge's personal wishes.

I wonder if EBD had read A Town Like Alice? It was published the year before Carola, and a major part of plot revolves around the fact that the central character, Jean, can't access her capital until she's thirty five.

I wonder how fluent Biddy's own German was by this time? She left Tyrol around ten years ago, when she was about thirteen. She would have hardly spoken German since, and not at all while she was in Australia. Her conversational German must have been very rusty, and she must have had to mug up on the vocabulary she'd need for her lessons.

And yes, her manner to Pam Slater in this book and subsequently leaves a good deal to be desired.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 12:23 
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JayB wrote:
Quote:
it was so kind of Hilda to lend [Grizel] the money.

Yes, but I wonder if she wasn't also taking the opportunity, in Madge's absence, to get Grizel gone from the school. She must have known Grizel was unhappy, and that she wasn't liked as a teacher. The whole thing could be presented to Madge as a fait accompli.

There was that conversation in Gay about Madge not wanting to let Grizel go, but I think that by this stage Hilda is sufficiently well established in the Headship to tell Madge the good of the school must come before Madge's personal wishes.

I wonder if EBD had read A Town Like Alice? It was published the year before Carola, and a major part of plot revolves around the fact that the central character, Jean, can't access her capital until she's thirty five.

I wonder how fluent Biddy's own German was by this time? She left Tyrol around ten years ago, when she was about thirteen. She would have hardly spoken German since, and not at all while she was in Australia. Her conversational German must have been very rusty, and she must have had to mug up on the vocabulary she'd need for her lessons.

And yes, her manner to Pam Slater in this book and subsequently leaves a good deal to be desired.


Well, this is the woman who magically kept a strong Irish brogue even though she had grown up on the continent and in Wales.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 12:43 
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JayB wrote:
I thought Biddy was unreasonable in being cross with Carola for saying she hadn't understood the lesson in German. She's new to the school and had never learned German before; what was she supposed to say?


Biddy was horrible in that moment. Carola has literally only had four weeks learning German and she's supposed to be able to follow an entire lesson?

And then she goes and is a total b* to Slater as well. Slater has basically just admitted she knows her German is not up to scratch and Biddy, instead of offering to help, decides to come over all superior "oh it's not THAT hard to learn."

Vintagejazz wrote:
This book is also another example of Joey eagerly taking someone under her wing, and then just dropping them a few months later. In this book she is in 'loco parentis' to Carola, but in future books she's just Mrs Maynard and there's no suggestion of any particularly close relationship.


And then they go off to Canada. So where does Carola go for holidays?

Quote:
I felt so sorry for Grizel in this book, and glad that Miss Annersley stepped in and rescued her from a life that was making her increasingly bitter and miserable.


I am too. And she gets viciously told off in front of her peers like she's still a school girl. The result, I suppose, of working with people who have known you since you literally were a school girl.

But even as a child I wondered why Grizel could not get a bank loan. She presumably had a decent salary and an inheritance coming up. Or, since she wants to buy a business, couldn't she present the books to the bank? Seriously, she never considered a bank loan?

jennifer wrote:
I do like the enthusiastic naiveté of Carola's plot. It's blindingly obvious to the reader that it will fall apart completely the moment she arrives at school, with no record of her enrolment, no fees paid, and her weirdly cobbled together luggage, but it's obvious that she hasn't thought beyond arriving at the school.


The coincidence of the boat leaving on exactly the same day the CS girls return to school. And she knows exactly where, when and how to catch the right trains to meet the group, requires some suspension of disbelief.

And one niggle that always gets to me - in the cooking lesson Frau Mieders originally says they can only make one doughnut each and one for a friend for tea. So are the rest of the girls supposed to sit there feeling resentful? :D

Of course, in the end, they make enough to poison the school.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 12:55 
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Joyce wrote:
But even as a child I wondered why Grizel could not get a bank loan. She presumably had a decent salary and an inheritance coming up. Or, since she wants to buy a business, couldn't she present the books to the bank? Seriously, she never considered a bank loan?


Because until even as late as the 1970s, you had to have a male guarantor to borrow money. Who was she supposed to ask? Her father - and then her stepmother - was withholding her inheritance, so there would be no help from there. It wasn't easy to borrow money - and it wasn't the 'done thing' to build up debts anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 16:50 
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Biddy is kind to Grizel at the end of the book and later on in Reunion but I am not a great fan of hers most of the time she was at the CS as a mistress.

For a new member of staff she was brimming over with confidence. A year or so later in Changes I seem to remember she also has a go at Miss Slater over the languages. When Miss Slater came into the CS the girls did not speak German. I wonder how Biddy would have got on if she suddenly had to teach maths.

Joey, too, apart from the Richardsons, never sticks with the girls she says she is taking on unless, as in the cases of Robin and Daisy, she gets her moneysworth out of them.

I also noticed that David and Sybil were missing from the long list of people at the Quadrant that Christmas. I wonder where they had been dumped when Jo was meant to be looking after them? The same too the previous summer holidays when Jo was at Penny Rest and with the Christies.

The five Maynard children were also left at the Quadrant when Jo returned after Christmas. Why? Mollie was the one on the verge of a life threatening illness although it was probably Nurse and Peggy/Bride who had the Maynards.

It seems that family always came to Jo's help but she was not so good at helping back. The one summer she could have helped Madge when Madge was pregnant with Ailie and Josette was still ill, Mrs Maynard hotfoots it to Yorkshire for the summer leaving Robin, Daisy, Primula and the Macdonalds and presumably leaving the Bettanys to Madge.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 17:49 
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Yes, I'm sure it wasn't intended, but EBD does make Joey seem remarkably cavalier about the various waifs and strays she adopts.

In the earlier books she absolutely adored Robin, but once Robin grew up she seemed to have very little to do with her. I know she joined a convent, but even taking that into account she seemed to move very much into the background of Joey's thoughts.

The MacDonald twins lived with Joey for several years, but she barely batted an eyelid when Jack told her at the start of Island that they were moving to Canada to live with their older sister.

She was all over Lillamani when she appeared in Lavendar. But by the holidays she was completely ignoring her and the poor child had to go off and stay with someone else.

I imagine if the series had run for much longer she would have also virtually lost touch with her beloved Mary Lou as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 18:06 
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Was Joey looking after Erica who just seemed to disappear, and that baby , Marie Claire, seemed to go into the nursery and never came downstairs again.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 18:19 
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I think the problem was that EBD was so keen to have her favourites involved with whoever was at the centre of the action, so anyone who's not at the centre of the action fades into the background. The same thing happens with Len. In Problem, Len becomes best friends with Ros. In Richenda, when the focus is on Ricki, Len becomes part of a trio with Ricki and Odette, and Ros is out of the picture. Then, in Theodora, Len's no longer close to Ricki and Odette, but Ros is very much back on the scene, and the two of them form a trio with Ted. It makes Len seem like one of those very fickle girls who are always picking friends up and then dropping them again, which I'm sure it wasn't meant to :lol: :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 19:29 
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Didn't EBD herself go through mad enthusiasms which she then dropped and on to the next thing? Maybe Joey and Len were acting as EBD would have done.

What I really cannot get over was the fact that Joey didn't go and see Robin when she was in France. I wonder if Jo and Madge had given any indication that they wanted/needed grown-up Robin around, if Robin would still have become a nun? Joey doesn't even bother with Adrienne beyond the initial book.

Regarding Mary-Lou I got the impression from EBD's newsletters in the original CS Club, that Len was just about to overtake her in EBD's affections.

Joey dropping M-L? More than likely but I think the adult M-L who was a loner anyway would have been glad to keep her distance.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 19:42 
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I don't think Jo does have enthusiasms and drop people, its more that she steps in as an emergency in the first instance, as the nearest trusted adult-who-isn't-a-mistress and has her own home etc. Then, when more permanent arrangements are made, or parents reappear, or the girl makes friends of her own age with whom she would rather stay, Joey can and does take a step back.

Or indeed, those people move away from her - I think its unfair to say she drops Robin or Daisy, they become adults and friends as equals, and then both go on to build their own lives and new families of their own.

CS girls and their brothers are quite likely, it seems to go and spend the entire holidays with a friend's family, too.

And then sometimes EBD forgets about people.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 20:26 
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Caroline wrote:
I don't think Jo does have enthusiasms and drop people, its more that she steps in as an emergency in the first instance, as the nearest trusted adult-who-isn't-a-mistress and has her own home etc. Then, when more permanent arrangements are made, or parents reappear, or the girl makes friends of her own age with whom she would rather stay, Joey can and does take a step back.

Or indeed, those people move away from her - I think its unfair to say she drops Robin or Daisy, they become adults and friends as equals, and then both go on to build their own lives and new families of their own.

CS girls and their brothers are quite likely, it seems to go and spend the entire holidays with a friend's family, too.

And then sometimes EBD forgets about people.


EBD definitely forgot about Claire who was adopted by the Maynards. In most of the subsequent books Claire is not even mentioned as being part of the Maynard nursery.

Adrienne too certainly remains the Maynard's responsibility. Robin asked them to take her on and she certainly did not have anyone else. Did Dick and Mollie step in or could Simone even have helped if she became friends with Therese?

Didn't Daisy cease to be the Maynard's responsibility when the Bettany parents returned? I think it says at the end of Rosalie that Daisy was going back to the Round House to live.

I always think though that Joey (EBD) was great for making the grand gesture and then not following it through.

It is Miss Annersley who takes Adrienne to Canada to see Robin. What is Joey doing? Caring for her family? No, off in London to pick up two more waifs and Adrienne is then forgotten.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 20:30 
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Carola, along with Wrong, Bride and one or two others are my absolute favourites of the entire series.

Most of what I love about this has been said above - the fact that running to school is quite novel, Carola's plan falls apart when she arrives at the school and she is a very likable, wholesome well drawn out character.

What always, without fail, amuses me is Carola herself has to count her age on her fingers!!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Carola Storms the Chalet School
PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 20:45 
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Then, in Theodora, Len's no longer close to Ricki and Odette, but Ros is very much back on the scene, and the two of them form a trio with Ted.

It did look as if Len, Ros and Ted were going to be the next significant friendship group, as Mary Lou's Gang dispersed. But then their friendship fades into the background and the focus remains on the triplets as a group.


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