feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
My Cousin Rachel
This adaptation of Du Maurier’s book, which I haven’t read, revolves around Read more... )

Adventure on Rainbow Island by Dorothy Clewes
I enjoyed this well enough, considering it was narrated by a sixteen year old chauvinist Read more... )

I've also recently reread The Ambermere Treasure by Malcolm Saville, featuring the Jillies and Standings. I’d bought a second copy by accident, although I can see why I didn’t really remember it. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Jolly Foul Play!: Robin Stevens, Puffin, 2016

The fourth ‘A Most Unladylike Mystery’ or ‘Wells and Wong’ mystery follows our heroines, schoolgirl detectives Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells, back to Deepdean School. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: One girl seated by an easel with a watching girl standing behind (Girl painter)
Gratis, a lesson you'd think I would have learned: when buying a second-hand book, it is worth checking the last page, not to scan the content - I'm no advocate of that! - but to make sure that it's there. The last page of a story has to be the most irritating missing page. This lesson did not come about as a result of the book I'm about to review.

The Girls of Chequertrees: Marion St John Webb Harrap October 1925

This is a reread because I accidentally purchased a second copy of this book, having forgotten I already owned one, and I’d forgotten the story too. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Back of girl whose gloved hand is holding on to her hat. (Girl in a hat)
First Class Murder: Robin Stevens (A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery) Corgi 2015

I say, old things, I jolly well ought to put Mrs Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ on my ‘to reread’ pile!

This is the third adventure of the Detective Society, comprised of that paragon Daisy Wells and her erstwhile Watson Hazel Wong, and this time, they are Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl looking across unusual terrain to a full moon (Speculative fiction)
The Universe Against Her: James H. Schmitz Ace, April 1979

Set in the future among the most privileged, powerful people in the known universe as imagined in the late seventies, there’s a slight sense of paleofuturology about this story. The main character is Telzey Amberdon (all the names are a bit like that), a fifteen year old Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I’ll post an overview of a few books I’ve read over the holidays eventually, but this post is a look back at 2015, following a tradition started by my first post of 2015 when I said I looked forward to the next adventures of Wells and Wong. Well, Arsenic for Tea by Robin Stevens (in which the 1930s schoolgirls investigate another mystery, this time in Daisy Wells’s country house home) lived up to my expectations. I enjoyed Kate Saunders’s Beswitched, originally published a few years ago, but taking the reader back to a 1930s boarding school, a fraction more, even. I loved reading Jane of Lantern Hill by L.M. Montgomery and Gail Carriger’s Etiquette & Espionage.

Turning to hadrbacks, I enjoyed The Little Betty Wilkinson by Evelyn Smith, even though I think she’s written better books. I did read a book each by the ‘big four’: Elinor M. Brent-Dyer’s Chudleigh Hold, Sally’s Summer Term by Dorita Fairlie Bruce, Tomboys at the Abbey by Elsie J. Oxenham, which I didn’t review, and For the School Colours by Angela Brazil.

(In the first paragraph, I build up to my favourite and do the opposite in the second.)

Perhaps the best book I read this year was ‘Rose Under Fire’ by Elizabeth Wein, which is wonderful and harrowing, and I feel incapable of writing about it. I also really loved Helena McEwen’s Invisible River.

I reread Katherine L. Oldmeadow’s The Fortunes of Jacky, which stands the test of time, and now I have no more Oldmeadows to reread. I am, obviously, looking out for more by her in all the shops that sell second-hand books! I hope to read the next case Hazel Wong writes up and the second in the Finishing School series, but I expect to read EBD's 'Fardingales' as I have a copy in the depths of my 'to read' pile.
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Arsenic for Tea: Robin Stevens, Corgi, 2015

The second Wells and Wong mystery and sequel to Murder Most Unladylike is set at Fallingford, Daisy’s home – I suppose another murder at Deepdean school really would have led to its closure – where Hazel is holidaying and observing upper-class English life at close quarters. For Daisy’s fourteenth birthday, there is going to be a party, but, as we know from the outset of the book, it is going to be marred by murder.

Stevens is therefore tackling the country house murder mystery through the eyes of clever 1930s schoolgirls, with references to Daisy’s beloved detective stories.

”I,” said Daisy, ‘can do anything. And even though she doesn’t like to mention it, so can Hazel.”’ (p 324).

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Beswitched: Kate Saunders (Marion Lloyd Books – Scholastic) 2013 edition

This is the story of Flora Fox, who, when we first meet her, is Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Black and white body shot a row of ballet dancers (Ballet girls)
Envoy on Excursion: Caryl Brahms and S.J. Simon
Michael Joseph (this edition 1954)

Detective-Inspector Adam Quill of Scotland Yard, who has previously had to deal with the insanities of the Ballet Stroganov has a new case. It is wartime, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
The Little Betty Wilkinson: Evelyn Smith. Blackie

There is an explanation for the title, which seems an odd one for a school story and more suitable for a late nineteenth century/turn of the twentieth girls’ story by a Mrs A.B.C. Double-Barrel. I’ll get to it in a moment.

At the start of the book, Betty Wilkinson’s life is Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I don't know if I'll get around to typing up a full review of 'Molly Hazeldene's Schooldays' by Maud Forsey, which I read over the holidays, but I felt it should be noted that one of the other school girls is named, rather magnificently, Leah Venus Sheepwash.

Looking back, my favourite Girls Own books read in 2014 were The Scholarship Girl at Cambridge by Josephine Elder, Dimity Drew's First Term by Nancy Breary and Mullion by Mabel Esther Allan. I also loved Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens (and look forward to more Wells and Wong cases) and enjoyed rereading The Chalet School and the Lintons.
feather_ghyll: drawing of a girl from the 1920s reading a book in a bed/on a couch (Twenties girl reader)
Terry’s Best Term: Evelyn Smith Blackie (an inscription reveals that my copy was a gift in Christmas 1959, although the content suggests that it was first published during the interwar period, and an article in Folly says it was 1926,)

She thought of Terry, and her firm little face softened. She liked Terry, liked her tremendously. People always laughed at schoolgirl friendships, but then people laughed at mothers for thinking their babies so wonderful, at old maids for coddling their dogs—at lots of things, nearly all women’s things. Julia thought over that, and decided that it wasn’t fair.
(p. 170)

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Murder Most Unladylike: Robin Stevens Corgi 2014

Before Daisy Wells and narrator Hazel Wong have had a change to get bored of their secret Detective Society at Deepdean School, Read more... )

Thanks to callmemadam for drawing my attention to this book!
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
The Luck of the Melicotts: Monica Marsden Brock Books 1951

The title struck me, as I’d been making comparisons with Saville’s books when reviewing the pervious book in this series The Manor House Mystery. As with The Luck of the Sallowbys, the word ‘luck’ refers to Read more... )


May. 18th, 2014 08:28 am
feather_ghyll: Close-up of white flower aganst dark background (Black and white flower)
Both from The Guardian:

Where are all the heroines in YA fiction?: firebird

This feature wanders away, somewhat, from the original question, to discuss covers and marketing, but ends with some recommendations.

Here is an obituary for Mary Stewart, who has passed away at the age of 97, by Rachel Hore. I found it sympathetic and enlightening about certain aspects of Stewart's books. I greatly enjoyed her romantic suspense novels.
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Redshank’s Warning: Malcolm Saville. Armada 1963 edition

This is the book that introduces the Jillions (aka the Jillies – Mandy, Prue and Tim) to the Standings (Guy and Mark) and readers.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
The Secret of Grey Walls: Malcolm Saville Newnes (Seventh Impression 1972)

I haven't really written about the Lone Piners’ influence on me as a reader. Rationally, I know by now that the books and the characters' adventures don’t stand up well in comparison, but they were quite as influential on me as the Swallows and Amazons books growing up. I was probably reading them higgledy-piggeldy, along with various Enid Blyton books even before The Chalet School and before I was the twins’ age. I admired Peter tremendously, although I never wanted a pony of my own.

I owned an Armada paperback copy of The Secret of Grey Walls and bought this hardback edition to replace it at a reasonable enough price, because I heard that the Armada editions were abridged, which may or may not become a new habit. I found I didn’t remember much about the story – except it fits in with the pattern of the mysteries and adventures that Saville’s gangs of children happen across (I came across the Buckinghams later and the Jillies even later in life, which, along with their being smaller groups and having fewer books devoted to their adventures, made them less important to me than the Lone Pine Club,)

Every member of the Lone Pine Club signed below swears to keep the rule and to be true to each other whatever happens always. (p 102) )
feather_ghyll: Black and white body shot a row of ballet dancers (Ballet girls)
Six Curtains for Stroganova: Caryl Brahms & S. J. Simon. Penguin 1953

This is the third in the series of books about the dreadful, wonderful Stroganov ballet company (previously discussed here. Read more... )

I'm also still slowly reading Blackie's Girls Annual. The last story that I read was 'The Proogle' by Alice M. Worthington, which had a great idea that it didn't exploit very well. It revolves around an object that the eldest daughter of a struggling but happy family buys as a gift at a mysterious second-hand shop. I have a weakness for mysterious second-hand shops. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
A Popular Schoolgirl: Angela Brazil

I had an ‘oh, Angela’ moment when Read more... )

Sara Gay Model Girl in New York: Janey Scott

That's New York, 1961 - fit for girls. Read more... )

Dance with me by Victoria Clayton

Recommended. Read more... )

I look forward to reading more by Clayton (I think another book of hers may have been recommended by [personal profile] callmemadam.)

Finally I reread Three go to Switzerland: Mabel Esther Allan

It can’t have made much impact on me before, because I didn’t remember anything as I read it. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
A break from all the tennis talk!

The Luck of Sallowby: Malcolm Saville. Lutterworth Press, 1952.

I opened this with much less excitement than if it was one of the few Lone Pine or Buckingham books that I hadn’t read before (although I mainly have Armada copies). I think because I came to the Jillies books when I was older than all the main characters, I never took them to heart so much. But I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Reading it was less of a drudge than I remembered the last Jillies book as being.

Read more... )


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