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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 25 Jan 2018, 08:51 
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I really don't like that scene with Joey telling Mollie and Grizel about it all. I don't like Reg, but he deserved better than that. Whilst he must have expected that Jack would tell Joey what he'd said, I don't suppose he expected to Joey to go blabbing about it to other people. And she blithely tells them all about him private financial business. I accept that it's EBD's way of letting the reader know, but she could have done that by showing a conversation between Joey and Jack.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 25 Jan 2018, 09:17 
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Audrey25 wrote:
What was there to 'speak' about? Reg should have been told where to get off by Jack but it obviously did not end up that way.


Judging by what Joey says, I think Reg wanted to go the whole hog and ask Len to marry him.

And Jack rightly says it's up to how Len feels and Joey says she needed to finish her uni course first. So the parents do try and dampen his ahem ... ardour. :D

Alison H wrote:
I really don't like that scene with Joey telling Mollie and Grizel about it all. I don't like Reg, but he deserved better than that. Whilst he must have expected that Jack would tell Joey what he'd said, I don't suppose he expected to Joey to go blabbing about it to other people.


Joey starts that conversation with the traditional "don't tell anyone but ..." And you just KNOW that means she's going round telling everyone.

Alison H wrote:
I'd quite like to have seen some more interaction between Mollie Maynard and the others. As far as we know, Mollie hasn't seen Jack since she emigrated to New Zealand over 20 years earlier, and has never met her nieces and nephews.


And, in an utterly bizarre moment, Grizel considers asking Deirdre to invite Margot and Emerence to New Zealand while they are on the Oz trip.

Meanwhile, Mollie (her OWN aunt) does not make a similar offer so Margot can meet her cousins. It truly does seem that EBD has selective amnesia.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 26 Jan 2018, 19:44 
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Having just read this again for the first time in years I am puzzled at the beginning when it is said that Marjorie (Durrant) is going to stay with Louise (Redfield). Hadn't Miss Durrant left the school before Louise arrived?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 26 Jan 2018, 21:35 
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Supersal wrote:
Having just read this again for the first time in years I am puzzled at the beginning when it is said that Marjorie (Durrant) is going to stay with Louise (Redfield). Hadn't Miss Durrant left the school before Louise arrived?
Well - Louise is a new girl in book 6, Eustacia, and in the same book we're told that Miss Durrant has left and is now Mrs Cowley, and in 8, In Camp, she has a baby called Josephine - but this Mrs Cowley in 8 is said to be the former Miss Carthew; by 9,Exploits, Miss Durrant is back at the school teaching, as Miss Durrant. Louise's last term is in 13, New CS. So yes, maybe they could have overlapped, depending on how many people we're talking about...

Both Miss Carthew and Miss Durrant later come back into the narrative with different married names, but that's relatively straightforward!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 27 Jan 2018, 19:58 
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Supersal wrote:
Having just read this again for the first time in years I am puzzled at the beginning when it is said that Marjorie (Durrant) is going to stay with Louise (Redfield). Hadn't Miss Durrant left the school before Louise arrived?


I put it down to the CS "Old Girl" network.
Joey tells the Lintons that no-one would let new CS girls go to an hotel - one of the old girls at the Sonnaple would have taken them in unless it was impossible due to illness, and the same kind of network seems to operate at other times and in other places.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 29 Jan 2018, 02:29 
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Apologies if anyone else has mentioned it, but it is in this book that we also surely meet Con's probable husband-to-be, Dr Iain Hamilton. His thought that Con was a pretty kid and his very presence in the book were for a reason.

If Con ever did marry I see it to someone on the arts side, a bit unconventional, but I am sure Iain Hamilton was destined to be working at the Platz San before Con graduated.

Although I would have loved Len and Con to escape the Platz for good, I used to think EBD would have them both living there. I am not so sure now. Len probably and Reg ending up as head of the San or of the "medical centre" it might well have become. Was Con though destined for Scotland or even New Zealand?

Unlike others, including probably EBD, I don't see orderly Len as having more than a couple of children but I could see Con with about four.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 29 Jan 2018, 08:54 
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I really hope Con didn't end up stuck on the Platz: she'd have been bored stiff! Iain remarking that Con's pretty seems a much more normal thing for a young man in the 1950s to say than Reg asking Jack if he can "speak" to Len, though!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 29 Jan 2018, 17:22 
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Len wouldn't leave. I can see her teaching at the Chalet School until she becomes pregnant, then she stays home to raise the kids while, like Joey, acting as a maternal figure for girls who need her. This is EBD we're talking about, so Len has twins or maybe even triplets of her own, because why the heck not. Reg rises through the ranks at the San and eventually takes over from Jack. They all live Platz-ily ever after.

Con probably was destined for Dr. Hamilton, but I like to think she got away.

EBD is clear the triplets are more or less Joey split into three, so I imagine that applies to Joey's life, too. Len gets the big family and mothering duties; Con gets to be a famous writer; and Margot is a nun, so she's more or less out of the picture, a la Robin.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 14:29 
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Aquabird wrote:
What really struck me about this book is how little news we actually hear from those Old Girls who did turn up; in most cases we don't even get a list of how many kids they have now! The only real piece of news we get is Corney's item on Yseult shedding her picturesqueness and getting married. It would have been nice to have e.g. Marie and Wanda talking about what may have happened to Paula and Irma von Rothenfels or Thekla, all of whom were cousins of theirs, or Frieda giving an update on what Gisela and Gottfried are doing these days, but we get nothing like that. Instead we get a flurry of expeditions to places we've already seen, every single one of which involves a hair-raising experience (Bruno at the Auberge, Glaciergate 2.0, the broken lift, Len and Grizel's escapade) and all of which take place within the space of a week. :roll: Coming right off the back of Triplets with its chain of escapades, I'm amazed Jo and Jack let the triplets out of their sight!

I do like the Grizel story in this, though, and Neil is adorable (even if his proposal is second only to Reg's on the cringe scale). I like how even though he was determined to win her love, he knew she wasn't ready for him until she'd got over her disappointment re. Tony, and held off saying anything until then. Him conveniently turning up in Switzerland as a pure coincidence just in time to play the hero is stretching things a bit, though. EBD could have at least had Grizel say; 'I'm staying with a friend at the Platz for X number of weeks, look me up if you're in the area' and it would have been plausible, especially as it's already been made clear he's very keen on her, but no, he just turns up out of the blue, and, as Joyce says, Grizel miraculously recognises him from halfway across a glacier! :lol:

A lot of the San stuff in the latter half of the book screamed 'Filler!' to me, but I liked Grizel's friendships with Len and Mary-Lou, how Grizel feels that by saving Len she's atoned for the fire incident in Carola, and how she and Mary-Lou help each other through their sadness. And it's nice to know that Primula has found happiness and is setting up a home for herself, too.


Yes, this is my biggest bugbear with this book. We hear so little about the current lives of the CS past pupils who attend the reunion, or about any of the old schoolfriends they're still in contact with.

Instead we have pages and pages of descriptions of outings that really could have taken place in an 'ordinary' CS book.

I also couldn't understand why Sophie Hamel was part of the re-union. She was never a major character. It would have been much nicer if Gisela, or Gillian Linton or Margia Stevens had been there.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 14:45 
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I think Sophie is there as comic relief really. On the cover she is shown to be quite different from all the others - plumper, plainer and in frumpy clothes. Isn't she the one who wrecks the breakfast table and nicknamed 'Fatty' at school?
In reference to the lovely special 50th book cover I find most of them just right especially Grizel and Matey. The glaring error is Juliet with black hair! Evvy and Cornet look quite glamorous, but then they are both mega-rich.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 15:10 
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I love the cover, but I don't think Wanda is stand out beautiful enough. I mean, fair enough, she's in her forties now and has had several children, not to mention living through WW2 and her husband being missing for a long time. But such a feature was made of her amazing beauty that it's a bit of a let down when you see her depiction on the cover.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 15:15 
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I really dislike the treatment of Sophie. She's obviously an intelligent and hard-working woman, as we're told that she helps to run her father's business, but, as Mel says, she's treated as the comedy turn. The reference to her being called "Fatty" is in Two Sams, when Joey, finding out that she and Samaris know each other, very rudely asks if she's still as fat as ever and says that she was known as "Fatty" at school. She wasn't known as "Fatty" at all - Madge and Mlle would never have tolerated someone being called by an unkind nickname.

I think EBD dreamt those nicknames :roll: : there are also several references to Marie and or Wanda having been called "Cinders" at school, which they weren't!

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2018, 23:07 
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Alison H wrote:


I think EBD dreamt those nicknames :roll: : there are also several references to Marie and or Wanda having been called "Cinders" at school, which they weren't!


EBD probably thought years later that they sounded appropriate so shoved them in. There is also the possibility that having thought of the nicknames years later, she did think she had called them this originally.

Marie and Wanda undoubtedly were pretty but in the La Rochelle books there are so many drop dead beautiful women, I sometimes wonder if they really were beautiful at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 05:00 
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This is one of my favourites of the later books, simply because I really like Grizel. In depicting an adult character suffering from depression, who has been unhappy in love, career and family EBD is being extremely brave. Grizel is different from the CS girls, who either marry the first man they fall in love with, with very little obstacles in their way, or are so successful in their dream career that they don't need a husband. The portrayal of Grizel on the boat, feeling that there is no point to life, with the hints of suicidal thoughts is so raw and touching and real.
Despite the dreadful proposal ("we are lonely old people"....how flattering!), they seem a good match, and I'm so happy she finally gets to walk into the sunshine.

There are a lot of things that irritate me about adult Joey, but I really like how she and Jack go out of the way to make sure Grizel feels she has home. Joey really comes into her own with Grizel- her loving, caring nature really come to the fore here. Yes, arranging a hectic weekend might not be the most tactful, but given the depression Grizel slipped into on the voyage, keeping her mind off her own troubles might be a good thing. Moreover, though the old girls are ostensibly living happy ever afters, some of them have suffered unhappiness, and might be able to sympathise/help Grizel (e.g. Evadne losing her fiancé). I like the blossoming of a friendship between Grizel and OOAO, as they support each other through tough times.

Things I didn't like so much...I agree whole heartedly that the Sophy bashing is extremely unpleasant, not to mention bizarre, as it definitely isn't a fond recollection of the past- apart from Joey's scraginess, weight wasn't often commented on in th early books. When does EBD become obsessed with being fat? It's so odd and not in line with the "don't be vain ethos".
I am an anti-Reg-er, so his "talking to Jack" icks me out. I do think Jack and Joey's reaction here (she is young and needs to meet more boys), much more preferable and in line with their characters than the "fast and loose" of Summer Term. I find the marshalling of adult women into groups led by the Triplets extremely odd, but presumably EBD had to shoe-horn them in somehow to engage her younger readers! The walk Len takes her group on is clearly far too much for mature women who are not used to that level of activity (I'm not saying older women can't be extremely fit, it's more that most of the group aren't used to climbing, and for those like Stacie it is downright dangerous). I also really dislike how Verity goes from feisty and stubborn to a nuisance, to the point that OOAO doesn't even her consider as family! As other have said, I don’t feel like we really get to "hear" the other old girls or learn their stories. This is Grizel's story, and the inclusion of the others seems rather unnecessary; I'm sure a near-death experience can be introduced without a large house party.
Finally, things that were a bit odd: just how do Joey and Rosalie instantly guess that Grizel was in love with Tony? How could they tell that from the letter? It is, however, an extremely unusual topic to address in GO school stories, so well done Elinor on doing so!
We are told that the trips don't go to the Auberge as they have errands to run, but they later talk about how horrified they were at Bruno’s escape from the jaws of death...Surely Joey should have guessed Bruno would freak out?! Why on earth do they have a long discussion on what Con said to Jack's troublesome patient, and why so-and-so didn't hear about it till now? It was a passing incident 2 years ago, why does it matter? It's like Joey's rude comment to Made in & Co, where they trip write to Josette to report on Madge's reaction, and then get excited when her letter arrives: a massive overreaction.
In general, however, I do think this is one of the better written later books- many of them are quite forgettable and repetitive.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 15:35 
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There's more rewriting of history with the talk of Grizel being one of Jo's oldest friends. They never were friends particularly, or even in the same circle of friends. They were thrown together by circumstances at times, and tended to rub each other the wrong way. But I appreciate there is a point to that piece of revisionism, in that Jo wanted to make Grizel feel welcome.

I think in this book we see Jo at her very best, with the genuine and heartfelt kindness of her welcome to Grizel, and also at her most irritating, with her micro-managing of the reunion party, and her gossiping about Reg's affairs.

I too wouldn't have wanted to see Con married young to a doctor. I'm glad the series finished before she was condemned to that fate! It would have been nicely symmetrical to have one triplet married youngish with a family, one a single career woman and one a nun.

In the Real World, of course, the San would have outlived its purpose by the time the series ended; by that time new treatments for TB meant long stays in sanatoria were no longer necessary. Probably all the younger doctors would have been looking to move on.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 16:28 
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Just thinking about it, all the people who are invited are friends whom Joey is in touch with anyway, and many of whom will be in touch with each other. The interesting thing with school reunions - not that I'd to go to one! - is when a general invitation's issued and someone comes face to face with someone they always disliked, or it turns out that the person who was always bottom of the class is now at the top of their profession, or that someone who was always very prim and proper has embraced the rock 'n' roll lifestyle :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2018, 20:19 
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mrs helston wrote:
Finally, things that were a bit odd: just how do Joey and Rosalie instantly guess that Grizel was in love with Tony? How could they tell that from the letter?


I don't have my copy at hand, but doesn't Jo tell Rosalie that Grizel has mentioned him a few times in previous letters? I assume she inferred from their correspondence that Grizel was interested in him. Adult Jo can be quite sensitive to people's thoughts and emotions, so it doesn't surprise me she picked up on it.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2018, 08:49 
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JayB wrote:
There's more rewriting of history with the talk of Grizel being one of Jo's oldest friends. They never were friends particularly, or even in the same circle of friends. They were thrown together by circumstances at times, and tended to rub each other the wrong way. But I appreciate there is a point to that piece of revisionism, in that Jo wanted to make Grizel feel welcome.


I’m not sure I agree here. Yes, they have never been BFFs, but there are friends and friends - they’ve known each other very well since they were pre-teens (or at least, Joey was), their lives have been intertwined for the best part of 30 years, they were effectively family for a chunk of that, when Grizel was living at Die Rosen. Along with Rosalie, Grizel is one of the only people still in Joey’s circle who was there in the Taverton days.

I’d definitely rank them as friends, haven’t we all got that friend who we care for, despite a bit of a friction-y relationship at times?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2018, 13:12 
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I agree with Caroline - they spent so much time together, including holidays and travel, and they were the only English girls in the school at first. It's not surprising to me that they have retained that bond, even if they have drifted apart at times.

I've just been looking at the labeled cover for this book. Some of the characters are instantly recognisable, but I would never have spotted Marie or Bernhilda, and poor Sophie Hamel looks like Frau Berlin.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School Reunion
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2018, 01:00 
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The character that is least as I imagined is the dark haired very animated Juliet. Hair colour apart I just thought Juliet was a quieter person. Also hair colour apart this is how I imagine Hilary Graves. I think it would have to take a person very familiar with her surroundings to be so relaxed and that is Hilary but not Juliet.

Triplets and Joey exactly how I imagined them. That could be due to the fact though that I bought the book years ago but the key got destroyed and I did not see it again until recently.


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