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 Post subject: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 29 Apr 2018, 16:08 
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I see that the first copies of this fill-in have been delivered. I made a conscious decision NOT to order this book as I didn't particularly enjoy her other prequel about the Bettanys. However I would be interested in what those of you who have ordered it think. Have I made a mistake? Should I order it before copies run out?
Many thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2018, 01:00 
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I just can't really take to this series because my ideas about the pre-Chalet Bettanys are just so different to the author's. I haven't ordered it either. I doubt copies will run out soon, it's more likely to end up in the dealers' sale.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2018, 15:33 
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My copy arrived today, so I'll report back when I've read it :D . I didn't dislike the other two books in the series, but they are very much set in the author's world rather than EBD's world, and a book about two CS characters at their previous school is very different from most of the previous Chalet School tie-ins published by GGBP.

There are all sorts of possibilities for prequels - Jem and Margot's childhood, Jack and Mollie's childhood, the Bettanys' first holiday in Tyrol, Madge and Dick's early years in India, St Scholastika's when it was St Margaret's, Mlle's life as a governess, the dodgy dealings of the Carricks, the Mensches' Austrian school. Rosalie and Mary at Taverton High seems a bit dull by comparison :lol: . But I haven't read it yet, so I shall reserve judgement until I have!

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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2018, 17:03 
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Mine also arrived today but taking it away with me when Mum and I go away . So can't comment until then.

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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2018, 17:32 
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Mia wrote:
I just can't really take to this series because my ideas about the pre-Chalet Bettanys are just so different to the author's. I haven't ordered it either. I doubt copies will run out soon, it's more likely to end up in the dealers' sale.

Glad that I'm not the only one not to buy this book. Thanks to those of you who are going to report back.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2018, 19:35 
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Mine arrived today too. Will have to wait till I've finished a library book due back in a couple of days with no renewal, also one for a discussion group on Wednesday.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 30 Apr 2018, 23:50 
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Mine arrived on Saturday. I have dipped into it, but not very far yet. I much enjoyed the first two Taverton books - my ideas about the Bettanys fitted very well with the author's creations.

In fact the two previous books are possibly my favourites amongst the non-EBDs. Apart from the two about the headmistresses.

I too will feed back in due course.

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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 02 May 2018, 22:32 
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I meant that all of the fill-in books end up in the sale, not this author in particular.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 18:58 
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OK, I've finished this now! I'll try not to post spoilers in case you do decide to buy it. It's a very nice day school story. Some bits drag a bit, but most of it's fine. Nothing particularly exciting happens, but day schools in towns are not generally beset by avalanches, runaway toboggans, etc. Quite a bit of the action is set away from school-related activities, as in EBD's own day school stories, and as in the early CS books when a lot of time is spent with the Mensches or the Maranis.

Rosalie and Mary are the main characters but, apart from references to going to the CS in the future, and letters from Joey and Grizel, it's set in Helen Barber's own world, not in "our" world, and it's not even like drabble worlds in which most of the characters are people we know. It's not bad at all, and I enjoyed it, but £13 is quite a lot of money for a 300 page book, and it depends whether you'd be as willing to spend that to read about strangers as you would for a fill-in which is about old friends, if that makes sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 19:34 
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I have bought none of the Taverton High prequels, for the very reason that I like my own imaginings about what happened first better than other people's! Which is not very nice of me, but hey!


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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 05 May 2018, 18:02 
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Alison H wrote:
It's a very nice day school story...It's not bad at all, and I enjoyed it, but £13 is quite a lot of money for a 300 page book, and it depends whether you'd be as willing to spend that to read about strangers as you would for a fill-in which is about old friends, if that makes sense.


That's really what I felt about "On The Home Front" - a perfectly good, readable story but not CS


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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 05 May 2018, 18:16 
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Thanks for the feedback, Alison. You've just confirmed that my decision not to buy was probably right.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 06 May 2018, 14:52 
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I have just finished this and, as a great fan of the first two Taverton books, I have to confess to being mildly disappointed with this one. It is, as Alison says, a pleasant day school story, with some good family bits as well so I did enjoy it as a gentle read.

I do feel it would have benefited from having the Afterword as a Foreword and I wish I had read it first. It sets out the thinking behind Helen's writing of the book and I don't think it contains any spoilers.

I very much liked the whole handling of "the play", including the performance. I thought it was well done - I know that many people on here find the endless line of nativity plays and pantomimes tedious so I thought Helen was brave to take it on at all!

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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 06 May 2018, 15:00 
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Thanks, Cestina. I'm not a big fan of the other two books.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 08 May 2018, 19:57 
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Just finished reading it. Mixed feelings, as others have said, a good read, but very little connection with CS. I thought Rosalie was very believable, recognisable as the future EBD Rosalie, but not so sure that I'd have recognised the young Mary here as the future Mary. Don't think I enjoyed it as much as the other two Taverton prequels.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 16 May 2018, 14:06 
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I had a hard time getting into it. The connection to the Chalet School felt so loose because most of the characters are people who have nothing to do with it. Parts of the book were drawn out in a way that reminded me a bit of "Prefects of the Chalet School."

I liked the characterization of Rosalie and I could see her being this way as a teenager. Mary is a regular, jolly schoolgirl. I like that Helen plays up their relationship as cousins. I feel like EBD forgets that herself in the series.

I didn't like this one as much as "The Bettanys of Taverton High," which I thought was really good.

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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 16 May 2018, 16:25 
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Another thanks for everyone who has replied. You have just confirmed my decision not to buy.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 26 May 2018, 18:45 
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I also found it difficult to get into; but enjoyed it once I did. I especially liked the Clovelly trip; and also the mix up in the afternoon tea with the older ladies.

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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 26 May 2018, 20:48 
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I always feel that only EBD "knew" the characters so I am not a great fan of published books on the CS or CS characters by anyone but EBD.

I have tried to read three but reckoned they all lacked sparkle. One, about Miss Wilson, I think, wasn't bad although I did not finish it . The second I read I did not get beyond the first two chapters although it is one of the well rated ones. The third, I cannot remember at all.

Some of the fan fiction on here though is brilliant; better than EBD ever managed and I do love the story which has just been issued by one of the CS groups, set in Guernsey, and featuring Joey and Patricia.


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 Post subject: Re: Last Term at Taverton High by Helen Barber
PostPosted: 26 May 2018, 23:19 
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I've just mentioned Joey and Patricia recently; it's good to know it's been reissued!


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