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 Post subject: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 03 Nov 2017, 11:38 
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I think Frieda and Bruno's love story was the most moving. I also like Joey and Simone's.
They're all very much a reflection of their time and contain an anxiety and hope (Frieda), urgency (Joey) and wartime simplicity (Simone) that I really enjoyed reading about.

Marie's story, while romantic in a traditional sense, was also a bit bland. I could picture her wedding appearing in Hello magazine nowadays, whereas the other three had stories really rooted in wartime and the drama that went with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 03 Nov 2017, 13:42 
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I'm actually not that keen on Joey's, because I find it a bit too much that they went out for the picnic as Just Good Friends (from Joey's viewpoint) and ended the day engaged.

Marie's is, as you say, a nice story in a fairytale sort of way.

Simone and Andre's is quite typical of what happened with a lot of young couples - they were enjoying a romance and probably thought they had all the time in the world in which to get married, with Simone thinking she ought to work and earn for a while first and Andre finishing his military training, and then found their world being turned upside down by the war. I do wish EBD had let Simone's family be at the wedding, though! People usually got more notice than Andre did that they were being given marriage leave.

And I think that Frieda and Bruno's is probably the most poignant. From what we're told at the beginning of Exile, each of them is interested in the other but neither (and, given Frieda's upbringing and the culture of the times, it was really for Bruno to speak up) had made it clear to the other how they felt ... and then Bruno was arrested by the Nazis, and they must have been thinking that they'd never see each other again and both desperately wishing that they'd said something. And then it all worked out in the end.

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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 03 Nov 2017, 14:04 
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I always felt we were rather robbed of Joey's romance. As Alison says, they seemed to go from being good friends to engaged to a settled married couple with little or no exposition or explanation.

Freda and Bruno's relationship is the most interesting from my POV because of that separation. I think Frieda was always my favourite of the four as well, as she grew into herself over the years. She wasn't sentimental like Simone, or wild like Joey, or drop dead gorgeous like Marie, she was just a shy little Austrian girl whom we got to watch grow up.


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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 03 Nov 2017, 16:18 
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Yes, it would have been nice to get some inkling that Joey was starting to have feelings for Jack, and possibly thought they weren't reciprocated. EBD wouldn't have had to go into any great detail, just a hint dropped here and there.


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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 03 Nov 2017, 19:27 
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Simone's is probably the most realistic

Marie's is a bit of a fairytale romance - lord of the manor and all that

Frieda's is pretty much off screen (but would love a drabble about it - and I think much have been a very emotionally strained time and could be extremely romantic)

Joeys - urh, while the marriage part they seem well matched and get on well (especially those early years) the romance part seems very forced


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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 04 Nov 2017, 00:59 
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I like all four of the romances. Marie's probably the least because it was so predictable - titled, wealthy, handsome, young Austrian baron marries beautiful aristocrat.

I think EBD does drop hints about Joey and Jack at least as far back as Camp when we have Jack more or less asking Joey when she was going to grow up and Jem deliberately changing the subject. Jem must have known how Jack felt about Joey.

We also have Marie's comments in New House when she told Jo she did know somebody - or words to that effect. Jo did not ask who or go into shrieks of laughter but gave her a "sharp look" which suggests she knew who Marie meant.

Then in CS and the Lintons we have Joey and Jack going to meet Gillian and Joyce as equals on first name terms. After their engagement I think Jo and Jack went well together.

Although it was offstage Bruno and Frieda's romance was so natural and so typical of her to be married with no fuss.

As for Simone I loved her wedding in Goes to It. The way she is so pleased about having new "undies" and her dancing slippers. Loved Joey organising everything and then sitting back doing nothing to help but correcting her proofs!

But lovely, all of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 04 Nov 2017, 17:04 
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I rather like Marie's romance. Leaving out Eugen's title and his castle, it's all very normal. Nice young man goes to local event, sees pretty girl he likes the look of, invites her to go for some refreshments, they like each other and take it from there. The two of them just going off together makes a refreshing change from the heavily chaperoned 'dates' we read about in the earlier books, and it's much nicer and more natural than Len and Reg's 'courtship' more than twenty years later.


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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 05 Nov 2017, 02:05 
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Audrey25 wrote:
I like all four of the romances. Marie's probably the least because it was so predictable - titled, wealthy, handsome, young Austrian baron marries beautiful aristocrat.


It's very high society Hello magazine. Though I really like the way they both dealt with the war and losing the castle and having to leave their home, and they take it all in their stride.

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I think EBD does drop hints about Joey and Jack at least as far back as Camp ...


Yes, as with Reg/Len we get hints of how the guy feels. And, as with Reg and Len, Jack has to wait till Joey 'realises' how she feels about him.

So it means we never get the female POV. She just 'realises' how she feels about the man. I think this shows EBD's sensibilities that girls are not supposed to this about men in 'that' way so the romance explodes like a bolt of lightning.

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As for Simone I loved her wedding in Goes to It. The way she is so pleased about having new "undies" and her dancing slippers. Loved Joey organising everything and then sitting back doing nothing to help but correcting her proofs!


But again, we don't see the romance and courtship aspect which would have been nice, but just the wedding. But it does show how families and friends have to scramble to prepare a war wedding and that part was lovely to see.

Joey also asks Anna who was cooking, cleaning and looking after the babies, to cycle back and forth to the village while she sat there doing nothing.

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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 05 Nov 2017, 09:17 
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We're told early on in Exile that even Joey can see that Bruno and Frieda like each other, and that Simone's written to Joey to tell her that Andre's on the scene and that marriage will probably be on the cards at some point. It happens off stage, but it all seems quite realistic, and the same with Marie and Eugen. With Joey and Jack, there are no real hints that Joey reciprocates his feelings: they go out one morning as friends, and (from what Robin tells Grizel) get engaged that evening! And I know that engagements under traumatic circumstances are a common literary device, but Jo was physically and emotionally exhausted, and worried out of her mind because of all the hours during which she hadn't known what had happened to Robin. Jack practically had to carry her into Die Rosen. Was that really the time to be making the biggest decision of her life?

Obviously it's not canon, but there's a lovely scene in the Two Chalet Girls in India fill-in in which Andre comes to escort Simone home after she's been out with Joey, and you get the impression that they often meet for coffee and cakes in smart Parisian cafes :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 05 Nov 2017, 12:46 
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Had Joey started seeing Jack in a new romantic light - or kissed him after the whole picnic thing I'd have thought it worked well - but not engaged straight away.

I agree that we know for a long time how Jack feels


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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 05 Nov 2017, 13:37 
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claire wrote:

I agree that we know for a long time how Jack feels

I know that EBD (following the norms of society at the time) likes her men to be much older but I've never been happy with Jack's falling for Joey at 14 and ditto Reg and Len.
As a child reader I loved the start of Eugen and Marie's romance. He takes her off her lemonade and ices. He doesn't notice the sweaty rowing kit that she is still wearing. Also he is only about four years older than her. Yes, a predictable fairytale romance but quite realistic, I think, for someone of her class and upbringing.


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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 05 Nov 2017, 14:38 
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Alison H wrote:
....but Jo was physically and emotionally exhausted, and worried out of her mind because of all the hours during which she hadn't known what had happened to Robin. Jack practically had to carry her into Die Rosen. Was that really the time to be making the biggest decision of her life?


It seems to me to be a very likely time to make just such a decision. She realised suddenly how much of a support he was being and how necessary he was to her. There is more to being together for life than kissing.....which was less prolifically indulged in then anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2017, 03:10 
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To be honest, I think the best EBD romances are the ones that happen mostly offstage, so we can fill in the blanks ourselves. :D

With Joey and Jack, I can see Joey suddenly realizing how much Jack means to her - after all, she does tend to rebel at growing up, and I can see her not admitting to herself how she feels until it's forced on her. But it jumps straight from that to engagement. They don't even wait until Joey's calmed down and had a good night's sleep and some food to have a discussion about it. They would have to have a serious discussion about religion, given that Jack's Catholic and Joey Protestant, and that's the kind of thing you need to sort out before getting engaged.

Simone's engagement seems to be the most modern of the lot. She meets someone when she's away at university, the romance goes slowly, they're engaged for a while while she works, then they marry. Frieda's would have been very traditional (going from her parents' home to her husband's) if not for the war. Marie's the most fairy tale - handsome young nobleman meets stunningly beautiful girl, later 'speaks to her father' about her, big engagement party followed by the wedding, moving into his castle...

What's interesting with all the Quartette's romances, compared with other CS romances, is that they are fairly leisurely. Joey knows Jack for years, they become engaged when she is about 20, and there's a reasonable engagement (although it's a bit rushed at the end due to war issues). Simone and Frieda are seeing their future husbands before Joey is engaged, and marry a year or so after she does. Marie has the shortest period, and it's about a year between Eugen 'noticing' her and their engagement, and their families are friends.

Compare that to Madge, Gillian, Hilary, Grizel all of whom cram their courships into a couple of months, and for the latter three, have short engagements as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2017, 19:34 
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I know Madge's courtship was short by most standards but she had met Jem the summer before and they were engaged around the next Easter. I know the romance did not start at once but Jem did "court" her, going to see her etc.

I don't know how Hilary's romance was managed. She saw Dr Graves the few days she stayed in his house after her soaking but did she see him afterwards or was it conducted by letter? It was half term when she met him so did he used to call at the school and take her out on evenings off?


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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2017, 20:02 
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Eugen Courvoisier came to look round the San within days of meeting Biddy, and insisted on looking round the school as well. Then he took a job at the San. Biddy must have made the biggest first impression ever :roll: :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 06 Nov 2017, 20:36 
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Quote:
I know Madge's courtship was short by most standards but she had met Jem the summer before and they were engaged around the next Easter. I know the romance did not start at once but Jem did "court" her, going to see her etc.


And it was another year and a quarter before they were married - the time it took for Jem to get the San up and running, I suppose.

They're both mature adults who know their own minds. I expect Madge would have recognised quite early on that Jem was a potential suitor, and would have found a way to warn him off if she hadn't been interested. Neither of them would have played games.

Madge had just turned twenty seven when she married. I don't suppose she'd have wanted to wait too long, if she was planning the family she had - several children, well spaced out.


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 Post subject: Re: Which of the Quartet's romances did you prefer?
PostPosted: 13 Nov 2017, 14:55 
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I always get the impression that Joey, Simone and Frieda got married because they had fallen in love, but Marie fell in love because she wanted to get married.


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