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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 15:16 
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Escorting the new girls to Freudesheim
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I think that this was a really boring book. The supposedly exciting boat trip was more of what we'd had before, and really, the idea that the prefects would be excited by Jo going with them was just not on.

She was loud and overbearing, showed favouritism, and was generally an embarrassing person to have around.

I know I'm a Jo-hater, but really, EBD should have dropped her, or kept her in the background.

She was a good character to have whilst still a schoolgirl and whilst a young woman before she married, but the mother of eleven children pretending to be a schoolgirl was dreadful, in my opinion.

The only prefect I ever knew at school was such a po-faced pious holier and better than thou person, no-one could stand her. When we received the news that she was engaged, the biggest joke was that last last it was matter over mind.

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A certain edge when she spoke of Mrs Maynard, certainly, but, after all, not everyone could love Joey.
'Life,' said Marvin, 'don't talk to me about life!'


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 15:39 
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There's one scene in which Joey gets everyone to go out to a platform on the lakeside, first thing in the morning, and they all jump into the lake, one at a time. It sounds like some sort of Benny Hill sketch. Then they go back to the Kron Prinz Karl, making a load of noise, and dump their wet swimming costumes in the reception area for the hotel staff to pick up and wash. Madge and Hilda would have had forty fits at the thought of them all making a show of themselves in public like that :roll:.

There are some interesting bits, like a comment about Eigen having had a terrible time, which leaves you wondering exactly what happened to him during and after the war, and it's nice to see that the San's still going, but Joey seems to be very hyper and I'm not sure that that rings true. Going back to somewhere which holds so many memories for you is very emotional. It's where she spent her happy years at the Chalet School, where she made her closest friends, and where she met and became engaged to Jack, and which she had to leave under horrific circumstances. I'd find it more realistic if she'd been overcome with emotion and burst into tears, rather than racing round like that. I understand that she and Marie and Frieda and Simone are excited about having a girls' weekend away, with no husbands and homes and kids to look after, but it gets a bit silly. I think even the other adults got annoyed - doesn't Marie have a go at Joey about worrying them all, when she and Mary-Lou eventually roll in?

It's good to revisit Tyrol, but I think it could have been done much better.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 26 Oct 2017, 22:18 
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I like bits and pieces of this book. I do quite like the return to the Tiernsee. I suppose EBD wanted to write it from a rather more adult perspective than she could have done if she'd sent Joey with the triplets.

It is nice to see the Quartette together again, and to see again some of the girls who were left behind when the school initially moved to Switzerland.

Jessica isn't a favourite character of mine, and the Rosamund storyline reads like a throwback to the Victorian fiction EBD would have read as a child.

Mary Lou is a bit inconsistent. Having gone through her school career treating mistresses as equals, she's suddenly shy about approaching Bill about Prudence, a matter she could quite legitimately raise in her capacity as a prefect.

And then telling the other girls they'll hear some news from her when they all get home .... surely it's not going to come as a surprise to any of them that Mary Lou is going to be the next head girl? She's the deadest dead cert there ever was for the post.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 27 Oct 2017, 02:14 
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Sale declared Open!
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I can actually see Joey reacting the way she did. She's emotionally volatile, but not necessarily very insightful about her own reactions. So I can see her being really emotionally worked up about the visit, and going into full bouncing off the walls, overgrown school-girl, impulsive mode without really understanding why, or realizing that she might need to pause and dig into some of the complex and conflicted emotions surrounding leaving the area, and the effects of the war.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2017, 02:50 
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Being taken down a peg or two
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Alison H wrote:
I think even the other adults got annoyed - doesn't Marie have a go at Joey about worrying them all, when she and Mary-Lou eventually roll in?


That's after Joey and ML have been 'missing' for a few hours which I always thought was a massive overreaction. They could have simply lost track of time or met a friend and gone off with them.

Sybil even wants to call Madge, not the POLICE, Madge. Who was miles away and would be no help whatsoever.

Joey, with all her feelings for others, completely dismisses her friend's fear and totally doesn't care. I would have slapped her.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2017, 12:08 
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Joyce wrote:
Alison H wrote:
I think even the other adults got annoyed - doesn't Marie have a go at Joey about worrying them all, when she and Mary-Lou eventually roll in?


That's after Joey and ML have been 'missing' for a few hours which I always thought was a massive overreaction. They could have simply lost track of time or met a friend and gone off with them.

Sybil even wants to call Madge, not the POLICE, Madge. Who was miles away and would be no help whatsoever.

Joey, with all her feelings for others, completely dismisses her friend's fear and totally doesn't care. I would have slapped her.


I've just finished a reread of this book and I found Joey extremely irritating. But then, I think her character got worse rather than better during the series.

Throughout the books, there are lots of instances of Joey being insensitive to other people's feelings. It has always puzzled me, since EBD lays such great store by her being the ideal person to sort out problem girls and school crises in general.

As for Mary Lou, I almost laughed out loud when I reread the scene where Miss Annersley tells her late at night that she is to be the next Head Girl. I found it totally unbelievable. I know she was tired and probably emotional following the events surrounding Jessica, but she's been headed that way at least since she was head of the middles (sorry, can't remember which book) and all the other girls would have expected it.

As for her getting the Joey Maynard prize: enough said. Did she vote for herself? (Sorry, someone's sure to have asked that already!)

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 28 Oct 2017, 23:10 
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I am quite sure ML did not vote for herself and that would have gone for any of the girls. A matter of honour back then.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 30 Oct 2017, 09:06 
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Being taken down a peg or two
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Audrey25 wrote:
I am quite sure ML did not vote for herself and that would have gone for any of the girls. A matter of honour back then.


I think that's the joke - the only way the vote could be unanimous as we are told it is, is if ML votes for herself.

But in her overeagerness to highlight ML's extraordinary popularity, EBD simply overlooks that aspect.

And besides, even if ML voted for someone else, there is simply no way everyone else could have voted for her without screams of "rigged!"

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2017, 01:43 
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Winning the dolls' house
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EBD really would have assumed without saying that ML would not have voted for herself. Unbelievable as it seems now back in the "old days" people did not vote for themselves. Readers "back then" - like me - knew without being told that ML would not have voted for herself because nobody else would have either. Nowadays everybody would but then went without saying they did not. Different eras, different values!

ML was exceptional - she wasn't bitchy. She was kind and helpful. She did have faults but she helped many people in the school. People like Emerence might have been expected to have voted for someone else but ML was kind to Emerence after ML was nearly killed by her. Probably many more other similar incidents.

They are story book people and EBD is the storyteller so she can do what she likes with the characters. We are all buying into it by still discussing it on forums like this nearly 50 years after she has died.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 03 Mar 2018, 20:57 
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Being rescued by Dr Ackles
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I skimmed through this earlier looking for a quote and was interested to see that Peggy Bettany consents to Miss Ferrars coming on a trip to Thun when they meet for the first time as "she rather likes the look of her." (Nancy smooths her way to joining the trip). Kathie and Peggy have a mutual friend in Nell Randolph! I find it odd neither of them have ever mentioned her. Did Peggy never visit Nell at Oxford? Kathie also went to Oxford with Joan Sandys, another friend of Peggy.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Coming of Age of the Chalet School
PostPosted: 04 Mar 2018, 00:26 
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Arguing from cause to effect
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My attachment to this book comes from the glaring confusion about the money raised. That fed a bunny which led to Rosalie becoming a secret agent!

The other EBDism I love - though it is presenting difficulties with a sequel - is that Miss Bubb is carted off at death's door but doesn't actually pass through it till about three years later!


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