No, I'm always uncomfortable reading Eustacia because I feel sorry for her, even though we're not supposed to. She's a pain, sure, but I don't think the school handled her well at all. Like when Miss Wilson didn't explain the distinction between sneaking and reporting - Eustacia had no idea about the schoolgirl moral code, how was she to know? And Miss Stewart had a huge go at her over the whole thing with Bill, which wasn't entirely her fault (the blizzard certainly wasn't), and it wasn't her fault either that Robin got ill. If Robin was so delicate she should never have gone on the expedition. And when she runs off, Mdlle Lepattre asks why no-one told her what was wrong. Er, you're the headmistress, you saw her crying, and you didn't twig Eustacia was having problems?
I can understand if you try to be nice to a person and they keep shoving it back in your face, but Joey really didn't demonstrate the amazing understanding she's supposed to have. And I don't think she was that great as a Head Girl either, to be honest. Eustacia is one of the reasons why.
I agree that no-one in Eustacia is shown in a good light though EBD seems to think that everyone did their best for Eustacia. There is no shame-faced discussion afterwards where the staff and prefects berate themselves for their clumsy handling of the situation. And I don't buy the idea that E was secretly very taken with Jo.
Same. Did Eustacia really care that much about being mates with Jo?
Alison H wrote:
This was the first CS book I ever read, so I've got a soft spot for it, but I don't think anyone comes out of it very well. Eustacia's aunt just seemed to want rid of her. Eustacia herself behaved very unpleasantly to the other girls. Miss Wilson, instead of gently pointing out that sneaking wasn't the done thing, told her that, if she'd been a boy, she'd have got a good thrashing
. Mlle Lepattre didn't really do anything. Mary's approach was to call a school council so that everyone else could slag Eustacia off - no wonder the poor girl ran away! Mary really was a very poor Head Girl, IMO: she handled things very badly in Rivals
as well. Joey blamed Eustacia for things that weren't her fault. Robin shouldn't have been on the trip in the first place.
Madge and the original prefects were off the scene, and no-one seemed able to deal with anything effectively. It's a common problem in any organisation, when "leaders" leave ... makes you wonder what happened when Hilda retired. And Mary-Lou would soon have sorted Jack Lambert out! There just isn't anyone to sort anything in this book - and I do feel sorry for Joey, however annoying she is here, when Miss Wilson says it's her fault that Eustacia's run away.
This, all of it.
Mary-Lou got on my nerves at times in the Swiss books, but she would have been able to handle Eustacia a lot better than Joey. Her reaction to Jessica Wayne being on her own is to ask the other girls what's going on and make it clear she won't have Jessica excluded, and she really goes out of her way to try and be friendly to Jessica, and I reckon she'd have done the same.