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 Post subject: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 20:35 
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This week’s discussion is on Jo to the Rescue, first published in 1945. This is the nineteenth book in the series and the first of the ‘holiday’ books, covering the summer holidays immediately after Gay. Jo, Simone, Frieda, Marie and their children and Sybil spend the summer at a cottage on the Yorkshire moors, where they befriend Phoebe Wychcote, a lonely invalid, and Reg Entwistle, an intelligent but sulky young boy from the village with a burning ambition. They also clash with spoilt rich girl Zephye Burthill, whose desire to get her hands on Phoebe's cello leads to more than one run-in with the Chalet clan. Notable events:

Twenty two year old Phoebe Wychcote is paid a visit at her cottage by her young friend from the village, Reg Entwistle, who brings the news that the new occupants of the cottage opposite are arriving. He takes Phoebe out into the garden in her wheelchair so that they can watch Jo and Co. arrive without being seen themselves.
Phoebe, who suffers from severe rheumatism, is hopeful that she can make friends with the newcomers, as she has been extremely lonely since the death of her father eighteen months previously and she has nobody to rely on but her maid, Debby.
Later that day, Jo knocks at the door of Phoebe’s cottage to enquire where she can get some milk, and immediately recognises Phoebe as the daughter of the professional cellist Nicholas Wychcote, whom she had seen in concert with Vanna di Ricci some time ago and met backstage afterwards. Phoebe is delighted to be so rapturously greeted, and Jo agrees to call again the next day.
Debby goes over to The Witchens with Jo to show her where the milk is, and tells her about Phoebe’s illness, and that she is in the care of Dr Mitchell. Later on, Jo tells Simone, Frieda and Marie about Phoebe, and that she happens to know via Jem that Dr Mitchell has just died the previous week.
The next morning, Jo brings the triplets and Stephen over to meet Phoebe, and when she discovers that Phoebe does exquisite embroidery both as a hobby and as a means of supplementing her meagre income, commissions her to make two frocks for Madge and Jem’s forthcoming baby.
A week later, Phoebe confides in Jo about an ongoing problem: she is being harassed by letter by a wealthy man, Mr Burthill, who wants to buy her father’s valuable cello for his own daughter, Zephyr, who has taken a violent fancy to the instrument. Phoebe does not want to sell the cello because it symbolises her father to her, but she is afraid of being selfish and wonders if she should let Zephyr have it. Jo advises her firmly not to.
Jack arrives at The Witchens for a few days and is introduced to Phoebe. Jo and Marie tell him more about her condition and ask if the San could help her now that she no longer has Dr Mitchell, and Jack agrees they can try, as soon as there is a spare bed.
That night there is a huge thunderstorm, and while the Quartette see to the children, Debby comes to ask Jack to go over to Many Bushes as Phoebe, who was already in pain that evening and is terrified of thunder, is now dangerously ill. Jack gets Marie to sit with her while he gets a horse from a nearby farm and rides over to Garnley, the nearby market town, to get medical supplies for her.
Jo, alone at The Witchens one afternoon a few days later while the rest of the party are picnicking in the meadow, is the first to make the acquaintance of Zephyr Burthill, having written on Phoebe’s behalf to tell the Burthills to leave her alone. Zephyr now arrives to ask Jo for Phoebe’s address. Jo flatly refuses to give it, tells her off for being so selfish, and warns her against harassing Phoebe any further on the matter. Zephyr leaves, vowing to get the cello one way or another, leaving Jo worried that she may even stoop to burglary.
Later that evening, the Quartette discuss how they can prevent Zephyr – or potential hired burglars – from breaking into Many Bushes. Jack, now back in Armishire, rings up to say a bed at the San has become available and they are coming for Phoebe the next day. The Quartette decide in that case to invite Debby over to The Witchens with them, and for Jack to take the cello back with him and hide it at the Round House.
Jo and Simone go over the next day to help Phoebe pack, and tell her about the San’s rheumatic specialist, Dr Peters, who has been studying in America and knows a new treatment which Jack believes could help her.
Jack and Dr Peters arrive to take Phoebe to the San, and Jack warns Jo that Stephen’s teeth are coming in. After they have set off back to the San, Jo is horrified to discover they have left the cello behind. They tell Debby about their fears, and she agrees to sleep at The Witchens to avoid any altercations with burglars.
Reg appears, having heard that Phoebe is gone, and is most indignant at not being told. Jo apologises and promises he will be able to visit her at the San, and talks him into becoming a scout for them, looking out for any trouble from Zephyr.
That night, Stephen wakes Jo with his teething, and she is just about to go back to bed when she hears Rufus growling. She reaches the window just in time to see someone getting into a car, and when she goes down to investigate, finds a lump of raw meat in the garden, clearly intended for Rufus.
The next day, Jo calls the vet out and gives him the meat for analysis, and he later returns to confirm that it had been doped with something to make Rufus under the weather for a few days. He urges Jo to report the matter to the police, but she declines, pointing out they can’t really prove anything. The vet intends to tell the police himself, but due to a combination of circumstances the matter passes out of his head and he forgets about it.
Jem arrives for a few days’ holiday, and as The Witchens is full, sleeps in Phoebe’s room at Many Bushes. During the night he is woken up by the gate creaking, and when he goes down to close it spots a car pulling up outside The Witchens, from which two men alight. Meanwhile Jo, roused by Margot having bad dreams, decides to go down to the kitchen and make a cup of tea. She gets there just as the two men creep in through the back door, and in a panic flings a frying pan, plate and bacon at them before Rufus jumps at them and Jem and the local police constable arrive on the scene. The men are arrested, but deny any knowledge of the cello.
The Quartette and Jem discuss the possibility of the San and the school moving back to the Tyrol after the war, and Jo reveals that she and Jack may not be able to go back, as she has just heard that Jack’s brother Bob has died, and if his widow Lydia chooses to leave Pretty Maids – which Jo thinks likely as Lydia prefers London – then Jack will have to take over the estate as Bob’s heir.
Jem departs for Armishire a few days later with Debby and the cello, and at the end of that week Jo takes Reg down herself to visit Phoebe. Jack meets them in Armiford and takes them up to the San. He confirms to Jo that Lydia wants to stay on at Pretty Maids for the present, and says that Phoebe’s condition is improving but that she can’t be completely cured. He wants Jo to talk to her about moving down to Armishire so that she is within easy reach of the San should she need further treatment.
Jack takes Reg off to see the X-ray room while Jo goes in to see Phoebe, and is amazed at her improvement. Phoebe gives her the first of the two baby frocks she had requested, and tells her about Reg’s family and how he wants to go to university but missed the chance of a free place at the local grammar school due to illness at the time of the exam. When Reg returns from the X-ray room, he is fired with determination to become a doctor.
Just as Jo arrives back at The Witchens, the Vicaress, Mrs Hart, who has so far been away from the village for various reasons, comes to call. Mrs Hart, having rowed with both Phoebe’s father and Debby on previous occasions and made some insulting remarks about Phoebe in her hearing, has a decidedly low opinion of them and is determined to put the party at The Witchens right about them. She fails to make an impression, however, as they refuse to agree that Phoebe is being selfish by not giving Zephyr her cello. She also earns Jo’s ire when she compliments Sybil on her looks, making her uncomfortable.
Zephyr turns up at The Witchens again to plead her case for the cello, this time encountering Simone, who gives her short shrift. Jo arrives on the scene and tells Zephyr once again how selfish she is being, and when Zephyr says she is delicate and easily made ill, Jo tells her about Robin and the sacrifices she was forced to make as a child due to her delicacy. She gets Zephyr, who has never had a real friend, interested, and duly sends for Robin to come and meet her, believing it would be a good thing for them to meet.
The next day, after a picnic in the meadow with Reg, Jo and the others get ready for tea with Zephyr and Robin. When they arrive, Marie chats to Zephyr about the Chalet School, and tells her that music has to come from the inside, not from possessing someone else’s instrument. When the others come to join in the conversation, Zephyr is left feeling very conscious of her lack of education (due to constantly complaining about her various governesses and getting them sacked), and when Jo is persuaded to sing a few numbers, she begins to realise that perhaps Marie is right and that real music comes from the inside.
Jack arrives for another short holiday, and tells the Quartette that Phoebe’s improvement is continuing. He also brings the news that Dr Peters has fallen in love with her, but doesn’t want to risk saying anything and possibly upsetting her if she doesn’t feel the same way. He has therefore asked Jack to ask Jo to try and find out what Phoebe feels about him. The Quartette are delighted at this turn of events, and arrange that Jo and Simone will go to visit Phoebe and subtly try to find out what she thinks.
Their conversation is interrupted by Margot having a tantrum, and Jack goes to find out what it’s all about. When he learns that Con and Margot have argued and Margot refuses to apologise, he sits her down on a log and tells her they won’t be moving from it until she tells him why she lost her temper. After an inward struggle against her pride, and wondering why she has a temper when Len and Con don’t, Margot gives in and tells him the story, and apologises.
Jack takes Jo, Simone and Reg down to the San, and impresses upon Reg the need for hard work and to conquer his sulkiness if he means to be a doctor. Reg admires Jack enough to take this on board and determines to get the better of his tendency to sulk, while Jo tells Simone in an aside that Jack means to go and see Reg’s aunt and offer to pay for him to go to Garnley Grammar School.
Jo and Simone go in to see Phoebe, and after telling her about Reg and seeing the second baby frock she has made, they make some remarks about Dr Peters to provoke her into talking about him. Her replies convince them that she does indeed love him, and when they take their leave, Jo manages to get him alone for a moment and give him the go ahead, much to his delight.
The last week of the holidays arrive, and while the Quartette are cleaning The Witchens in preparation for their departure, Jack rings up with the news that Madge has given birth to a baby girl, much to the chagrin of Jo, who has been talking of and hoping for a boy. That afternoon he hitches a lift with the ambulance and comes up to The Witchens for an hour, bringing with him letters for Jo and Debby from Phoebe, and the news that she is engaged to Dr Peters.
In her letter to Jo, Phoebe asks to be married from Plas Gwyn, and for Jack to give her away and the triplets to be her bridesmaids. She also reveals that Madge and Jem have named the new baby Aline Elizabeth, and have asked her to be one of her godmothers.
Back in Armishire, Jo goes to visit Madge and see baby Aline, and Madge tells her they have asked Elizabeth Ozanne to be the other godmother and Frank Peters to be godfather. Jo tells her Phoebe is planning her wedding for some time about the end of November.
Jack takes Jo up to the San to visit Phoebe, and tells her that Reg’s aunt has accepted his offer to pay for Reg’s schooling. As the grammar school is full, he is to go to Polgarth, where Frank Peters’ young cousin went, instead. When Jo goes in to see Phoebe, she tells her about Reg, and Phoebe shows her her engagement ring. Their conversation is interrupted by Zephyr, who has found out where Phoebe is via Mrs Hart, but has come to apologise instead of continuing her quest for the cello, much to Jo’s delight and Phoebe’s astonishment. Jo invites her to tea with Robin, and tells Phoebe how pleased she is at how everything has turned out.

So, thoughts on the first holiday book of the series? What do you think of new characters Phoebe and Reg? What about the Zephyr/cello storyline and Robin's intervention? The younger generation, particularly the triplets, are in the spotlight in this book, what do you think of them?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 21:49 
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This was the first EBD I read, and I had no idea it was part of a series. I think it works quite well as a stand-alone, whereas the school stories don't. I like the "family" aspect of the story - the day-to-day little incidents. It's the last book for quite a while where we see much of Marie, Frieda and Simone, which is a pity, they were so important earlier in the series.

Phoebe is a lovely character (as you no doubt will agree, Aquabird!) Don't much like the Zephyr story and attempt to steal the 'cello but it does give an opportunity to bring Robin into the story. It seems an unlikely friendship, but it does appear to be a lasting one, there's mention in a later book (can't remember which) of Robin being on holiday with Zephyr.

As for Reg - there's absolutely no indication here that he's more than a bit part player in the series, yet he appears about 10 years later in Switzerland and ends up engaged to Len. The implication then is that he's known her since she was 3, but it doesn't seem likely that they've met again often - if at all - till he turns up in Switzerland.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 22 May 2017, 22:19 
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ivohenry wrote:
Phoebe is a lovely character (as you no doubt will agree, Aquabird!)


What gave it away? :wink:

This is my favourite book in the series. I love the summery atmosphere and the Quartette as grown-ups, I feel this is Jo at her butting in best, and I think Phoebe and Frank are so sweet (even if the manner of their getting together is a bit ethically dodgy, not to mention extremely quick!). The only bit I'm not so keen on is the cello storyline, mainly because it just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Mr Burthill actually intends to send Phoebe the money for it after nicking it, as if he doesn't expect her to report a break-in to her house and the theft of a valuable instrument to the police! :roll: What was more, she would have had ample proof in the form of the letters they'd been sending her, as well as the testimony of her father's agent, that he was behind it. It's just a daft storyline.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 23 May 2017, 01:53 
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This is a book about friendship and, indeed, about love.

I like all the interaction between the quartette and the interaction with the children.

EBD has bumped Sybil's age up by about three years. If Jo is 24, coming up 25 and was 17 when Sybil was born, Sybil should be seven not 10. Marie's children are also older than they should be. I think these were not EBDisms but deliberate because the older children and more varied age group made the story more interesting.

This is the first book with "good" Sybil but Jo talks of the struggle Madge is still having with her. I loved seeing Sybil with Jem and it was good having Jem in the book. Likewise Jack who is still brown haired and not yet the "world's fairest man". A title which was maybe Jem's originally.

I feel sorry for three year old Len being told by her father she must take care of her mother when they return. Not a wise thing to say to an overly conscientious child like Len.

This is also the first book where it is Frieda and not Jo who is the frail one of the quartette and this does continue.

Like others I was not particularly interested in the Zephyr storyline. Unlike others though I believe Reg was always destined to appear again. Ten years older than the triplets, a doctor and a Maynard connection? EBD was never going to pass him by.

Iain Hamilton only appeared in Reunion and was not mentioned in any of the subsequent seven books. If the series had gone on though I have absolutely no doubt he was destined for Con.

Reg and Phoebe worked well and Reg's protectiveness was touching. His relationship with Phoebe did make me feel Reg might have been better with an older, not a younger, wife.

Phoebe was an absolute delight. Glad she got her perfect (for her) ending with Dr Peters. Great descriptions of Phoebe's beautiful nightgowns etc and her embroidery.

Honourable mentions for Simone and big-hearted Debby. Also for Madge's delight in her new daughter.

Jo good but maybe a little bit too hero worshipped. Not her fault though, I hasten to add!

Only discordant note, I felt sorry for Robin not being with Jo in her last summer before university. Jack even spoke about going to Pretty Maids during the short time Jo would have had with Robin after Jo's holiday but before Robin went away.

A "nice" book but far too much from me!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 23 May 2017, 03:11 
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Aquabird wrote:
The only bit I'm not so keen on is the cello storyline, mainly because it just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Mr Burthill actually intends to send Phoebe the money for it after nicking it, as if he doesn't expect her to report a break-in to her house and the theft of a valuable instrument to the police! :roll: What was more, she would have had ample proof in the form of the letters they'd been sending her, as well as the testimony of her father's agent, that he was behind it. It's just a daft storyline.


Mr Burthill is a man-child :D I fully agree with the points you have raised but possibly he thought Phoebe was just being ornery and stubborn and when the money arrived would be so darn grateful for it, she wouldn't take further action. Dumb, I know.

Let's say he did manage to steal the cello and not get caught. Phoebe calls the police and shows the threatening letters and the police are suspicious, but they have no real proof. So by sending the money he admits that he stole it unless he comes up with another far fetched reason like "I heard about her troubles and sent her some money out of the kindness of my heart." :roll:

But even if he doesn't send the money, how exactly does he expect to hide it? Zephyr is planning on playing it in public so all the police really have to do it is wait till a concert then then ask to see the cello. Or even wait till she is practising and ask to see it.

And the cello was valuable in itself not just because it belonged to her father. I got the impression it was a Strad or something like that, which would have distinctive marks, which hopefully a specialist would be able to prove was the stolen one.

Even if Mr Burthill tried to bluff his way out of it by saying he bought a different one, he would need to provide proof of purchase. Ok ... I've seriously overthought this :D

The part that gets my goat every time I read it is the way Joey tears into the customer Phoebe was making a tablecloth etc for a wedding gift. She makes half of the gift and then gets ill and doesn't finish it. Noone gets in touch with the guest and this is long before emails, mobiles etc so she doesn't have any way of getting in touch with Phoebe to ask where her order is.

By the time Phoebe recovers, the wedding is long over and even though she does eventually send the order, the angry customer sends it back and then bad mouths her.

Joey says the customer was to blame.

But look at it from her POV - she makes an order which never arrives and is told nothing about the reason for the delay, has no way of getting in touch and then shows up at the wedding with no gift. For all she knows, Phoebe never finished the gift and didn't have the courtesy to tell her. Even if she had sent a letter asking about it, presumably Debbie wouldn't have opened Phoebe's mail.

Fair enough - I would be peeved as well. Maybe she shouldn't have made the order in the first place with a set deadline knowing Phoebe's circumstances and she shouldn't have bad mouthed her, but she has a reasonable case to be angry.

But overall, I love this book. It's the first holiday one I read and the difference with the school books is just delightful. I love the scenes with the young kids playing and getting to know more about the families.

The last time we saw the quartet so close together is in New House and it's lovely to see how they interact now they are a little bit older with families.

cheers,
Joyce

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Last edited by Joyce on 24 May 2017, 07:19, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 23 May 2017, 06:54 
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I assume EBD was trying to get away from the war with this. It's quite different even from the other holiday books. The lovely friendship between the Quartette and Phoebe is quite EJO-ish ... and the silly storyline about trying to steal the cello would work better in an Enid Blyton mystery book!

It's got quite a Victorian feel to it, as well. All that stuff about Sybil and Margot and God giving them a hard row to hoe, which makes me very uneasy, is very Victorian, and so is the idea of a wealthy man paying for a poor boy's education.

It's interesting that Robin is called in to reform Zephyr. It's also Robin to whom Daisy turns for help in Tom. She seems all set for a major long-term role, and then she's packed off to a convent in Canada.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 23 May 2017, 10:14 
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Aquabird wrote:
I think Phoebe and Frank are so sweet (even if the manner of their getting together is a bit ethically dodgy, not to mention extremely quick!).


Yes, it's unethical. But I also like the image of a clueless Jack trying to figure out how to help his friend who has a crush on a girl. It's kind of sweet :heart:

You also get the first glimmers of Sybil having a complex over her good looks which in many ways is just as bad as being overly proud about them. Joey's answer to the Stodger is a good one and appropriate, but given she is the one who gave Sybs the complex in the first place ....

And you get some of EBD's class snobbishness coming through with an explanation of Reg's background. You would like to think Jack and Joey would have agreed to help Reg even if he had been 'purely' a village boy, but somehow I don't think so.

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 25 May 2017, 14:27 
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'Rescue' is probably my favourite amongst the non-school stories. As someone has already mentioned, it has a light, summery feel to it and it is good to have the focus on so many of the original characters. Madge is ever present in the background, even though she is resting up before the birth of her 4th child. Jack and Jem are allowed to relax and enjoy some family time, and the scene between Jem and Sybil is particularly poignant given the tensions following Josette's accident. I do tend to skirt over the Phoebe/Frank stuff, the attempted 'Great Cello Robbery' and Reg's fortuitous elevation to the doctoring middle class! However, the scenes between the Quartet are lovely and 'gentle' (in a Margia Stevens sense of the word!) and in spite of Jo's teasing, the scene between Madge and Jo near the end reflects the strength of their bond and affection for each other.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 25 May 2017, 17:06 
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This is definitely one of my favourite books because of the family feeling and the Quartette. Every comment above has some thing that I might otherwise have commented on but now I won't.

As I read the very comprehensive summary I noticed some things that had never occurred to me before:
I know that the class of gentlemen who owned buildings such as Pretty Maids might be expected to hunt but . . . Jack borrows a horse and rides off to Garnley? :o Have we ever seen him on a horse before? :lol:
And why would Jem mention to Jo that Dr Mitchell had died? OK they might have been to school/studied together or met at a medical conference or two (Jem seems to attend a lot of those.) but . . . Yes, I could have imagined this round the table at Die Rosen when they all lived together and Jem was telling Madge about his old school chum but. . . :lol:
Don't shoot me down on these - yes, of course, I realise that our beloved author just used them to add to the plot!

The policeman wearing his pyjamas and helmet always make me laugh out loud!

A question: I've always imagined that Polgarth was a public (boarding) school, otherwise why would Frank's cousin have gone there? So surely that would have meant much high fees than the grammar school? Considering the eventual size of the Maynard family perhaps Jack shouldn't have been quite so generous? :lol: (Yes, I know EBD and plotlines.)

I think we need the Zephyr storyline to have a less than nice character to reform a la CS. The Sodger gets a cameo appearance but as an adult is not going to be reformed. Reg is a pleasant lad (according to EBD even if some of us don't like him later) even if he is sulky.

I could go on but I think this is long enough! BTW Aquabird, any chance of some new Phoebe and Frank stories? Please.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 25 May 2017, 17:11 
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This book contained what I consider one of the most nostalgic scenes in any EBD book where we hear about the gentle English Sunday.

I am Scottish but it takes me back to the days when shops were mainly closed on Sundays, children wore good clothes and my sister and I went to Sunday school - although children nowadays sometimes do similar.

Having said all that though this must have been around the end of World War II, so maybe not so idyllic.

Love the bit where Jo says she will put on the kettle if someone else sees to the bread and butter and sandwiches. Easy to see who getting the best deal there!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 25 May 2017, 17:27 
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thefrau46 wrote:
BTW Aquabird, any chance of some new Phoebe and Frank stories? Please.


Part 9 is in the works, I promise! :D I'm afraid it sat virtually untouched between November and May due to various RL factors including job changes and illness, but I had a sudden burst of inspiration on holiday a couple of weeks ago and it's been (slowly) progressing since.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 25 May 2017, 17:43 
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I only read this for the first time about a year ago. Coming to it as an adult, I too felt that the Zephyr story was a bit far-fetched but I really enjoyed the setting away from the CS. It was also such a delight to read after having read Aquabird's drabbles and therefore seeing just how perfectly she has captured EBD's characters!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 25 May 2017, 18:02 
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It's easily my favourite of the non-school titles, and I do remember borrowing it to read from the junior library, probably aged about eleven, when the unlikeliness of the 'steal-the-cello' storyline bothered me not one whit - I was more struck by the unlikeliness of the Zephyr/ Robin friendship working out!

As an adult, I'm particularly struck by the life-like depiction of the young children in the book - amusing, but not cutesy, or over-contrived in the way that I find Geoff Maynard in Two Sams. I think it's quite likely that at this point EMBD knew some young families at church, for example, and we do know that she had at least two god-daughters, so probably had a fair opportunity to sketch from life, as it were.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 25 May 2017, 18:20 
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Aquabird wrote:
thefrau46 wrote:
BTW Aquabird, any chance of some new Phoebe and Frank stories? Please.


Part 9 is in the works, I promise! :D I'm afraid it sat virtually untouched between November and May due to various RL factors including job changes and illness, but I had a sudden burst of inspiration on holiday a couple of weeks ago and it's been (slowly) progressing since.


:D :D :D Looking forward to it! In the meantime I'll go back and re-read the other parts. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 25 May 2017, 18:34 
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Will have to look these out.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 25 May 2017, 20:22 
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Shameless self-plug here: they're here on LGM as originally posted with comments etc., or here on the SDL if you prefer that format.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 25 May 2017, 20:51 
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Thank you Aquabird - huge fan of Phoebe and Frank.

As others have said, love the summery feel of this book and the interaction between the Quartette. Joey is at her best here - quelling Zephyr when her chauffeur is left sweltering in the heat and sympathising with Debbie and Reg about their concerns for Phoebe. Love also how she rises to the bait when Marie is teasing Jack about his supposed baldness - there's none of the bumptious "you have to get up earlier than that to catch me".

In spite of the improbable plot line of the cello, altogether a feel-good book.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 25 May 2017, 21:21 
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Sorry to cast a dampener on things, but it just occurred to me that there is a sense of sadness there as well. Marie, Simone and Frieda, like so many other women, are bringing their children up on their own, knowing that their husbands are missing out on the early years that you can never get back, and not knowing if their husbands will ever even come home. They're also away from their home countries, knowing that terrible things are happening there. Simone gets very upset at one point, and talks about how Andre's missing all Tessa's baby days. There's a lot of talk about being grateful for what they've got, but it can't have been easy.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 25 May 2017, 22:23 
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thefrau46 wrote:
Aquabird wrote:
thefrau46 wrote:
BTW Aquabird, any chance of some new Phoebe and Frank stories? Please.


Part 9 is in the works, I promise! :D I'm afraid it sat virtually untouched between November and May due to various RL factors including job changes and illness, but I had a sudden burst of inspiration on holiday a couple of weeks ago and it's been (slowly) progressing since.


:D :D :D Looking forward to it! In the meantime I'll go back and re-read the other parts. Thank you.



Me too! Hope progresss goes well!


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jo to the Rescue
PostPosted: 26 May 2017, 01:10 
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Alison H wrote:
Sorry to cast a dampener on things, but it just occurred to me that there is a sense of sadness there as well. Marie, Simone and Frieda, like so many other women, are bringing their children up on their own, knowing that their husbands are missing out on the early years that you can never get back, and not knowing if their husbands will ever even come home. They're also away from their home countries, knowing that terrible things are happening there. Simone gets very upset at one point, and talks about how Andre's missing all Tessa's baby days. There's a lot of talk about being grateful for what they've got, but it can't have been easy.


Jo has got her husband back only months before, after thinking she had lost him. Apart from the last few months and their first year of marriage Jo and Jack have spent their marriage apart and Jack has missed out on the first few years of the triplets lives.

In all of these circumstances I am surprised on Jo going on this lengthy holiday away from Jack. I know she sees him sometimes but not very often. Jack is also being deprived of Stephen's babyhood. Could she not have spent two or three weeks with her friends and the rest of the time at home? She could have seen Jack more often, spent some of Robin's last summer before uni with Robin and what about Madge who seems to have been housebound? I know the Russell baby was due a little earlier than Joey was told but it was the whole company thing over the rest of the summer .

An unfortunate summer for Jo to be away.


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