feather_ghyll: Photograph of L M Montgomery at the seaside (L M Montgomery)
Last week, I went away for a few days and these are some of the books that I read then:

The School on the Moor: Angela Brazil

Read more... )

Reread: A Countess Below Stairs: Eva Ibbotson

(I think I will reread all my Ibbotsons as a project.)

Read more... )

Penelope’s Prefects: Judith Carr

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Back of girl whose gloved hand is holding on to her hat. (Girl in a hat)
Olive Roscoe or The New Sister: E. Everett-Green, Nelson

The first two chapters of this book left me going ‘Blimey.’ In those chapters, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Christabel’s Cornish Adventure: Dorothy May Hardy Nelson (this reprint the second in 1958)

‘”Well, for cool cheek you have no equal, Chris.”

‘Thus spoke Jane with admiration’ p.83

I don’t know about that assertion, Christabel is part of the Dimsie Maitland, Mary-Lou Trelawney etc tradition. Read more... )


For tomorrow, a merry Christmas!
feather_ghyll: One girl seated by an easel with a watching girl standing behind (Girl painter)
Jill Makes Good: Elizabeth Tugwell, Nelson

Of course, such a title begs you to decide whether the author has made good with this book.

Fourteen year old Jill Ross is headed for Cornwall at the start of the story, Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Rangers and Strangers and Other Stories: Ethel Talbot Nelson

I didn't realise until opening this book to rad it that it was a collection of short stories, rather than one book-length story. The title of the collection comes from the first and longest story, and is, in a way misleading, because Read more... )
feather_ghyll: One girl seated by an easel with a watching girl standing behind (Girl painter)
The Head Girl at the Gables: Angela Brazil Blackie (the inscription on my copy suggests that this was published in 1931 or earlier)

The story begins with the headmistress of the Gables and her lieutenant considering who to appoint to the titular post of head girl of the school. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Boat with white sail on water (Sailboat adventure)
Mullion: Mabel Esther Allan. Hutchinson

My copy of this book features a mostly intact dustjacket featuring two girls and two boys in a motorboat with a castle on an island behind them. If I’d looked at it more carefully, or read the blurb – but I just saw Mabel Esther Allan’s name under a title I didn’t own, so why did I need to? - I wouldn’t have come to the story under the misapprehension that Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
Assignment in Brittany is an early book by Helen MacInnes, set in occupied France during world war two, with one of her very competent heroes, although the challenges he has to face keep mounting. It’s a different setting to her usual Cold War stories, but certainly suspenseful.

Rules by Jane Beaton is the second in the Dorney House series, (I reviewed the first book Class here). It ends with a cliffhanger for the main character, which left me wondering where all the other books in the series the writer claims to have planned in the afterword are. This was published in 2009.

Read more... )

A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley is the latest Flavie de Luce book that I read. Looking back, I see that I haven’t posted anything about the previous books that I read. Flavia’s a rummy girl, isn’t she!? I kept putting this book down, which isn’t like me and I don’t remember finding the other books in the series such a slog. Apart from stumbling across crime scenes and ruining dresses with her intrepid investigating, Flavia has to deal with a lot of family drama - her relationship with her older sisters is particularly twisted - and her dead mother Harriet seems to be much more of a presence, and naturally (or supernaturally), a mysterious one, than in the previous books.

I see that I read much more traditional girls own books over last Easter. Hmm.
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Class: Jane Beaton Sphere 2008

I came across this book in a charity shop. It’s a chick-litty, modern day take on the boarding school genre, written for girls who wanted to go to Mallory Towers, whether that was a few years ago or, as in my case, quite a few years ago.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Pomeroy’s Postscript: Mary Fitt The Children’s Book Club by arrangement with Nelson.

The postscript is to a letter to Marguerite (aka Meg) and it's from her twin brother, who understandably prefers to be called 'Roy' rather than his full name of Pomeroy.Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I hope everyone had a happy Easter! I had a chance to catch up on some reading and quite a few were Girls Ownish-type books, so I have a backlog of reviews to post. First, a tale of an intra-school feud, spy hunting, a dash of hockey and alarm clocks under pillows.

The Denehurst Secret Service: Gwendoline Courtney Girls Gone By 2005.

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Greetings! I've been away, yes on a beach, and here are a couple of the books that I read that I think you'd enjoy too.

Introducing Aunt Dimity, Paranormal Detective: Nancy Atherton. Penguin 2009.

This is an omnibus edition of the first two novels in the 'Aunt Dimity' series, which I think I came across in an Amazon 'if you like this book, why not this' way?. Well, I now have another series to collect. The blurb describes them as 'cosy' mysteries, and they very much are, with a slight paranormal element, romance and growing. self confidence for their heroines. They also fit in with a very American type of Anglophilia.

Aunt Dimity's Death Read more... )

The website for the series Aunt Dimity's world should give you some idea of the flavour of the books.

I also read Bluestockings: Jane Robinson Penguin 2010.

It was an impulse buy - I had underpacked and so visited the airport's WHSmiths in a flustered mood, but was high-minded enough to buy this. I'm glad I did, it was quite a few of the things that the similarly themed Willingly to School wasn't. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Book shop store front, text reading 'wear the old coat, buy the new book.' (Book not coat)
I got a chance to go into a proper, if tiny, second-hand bookshop over the weekend. I don’t recall whether I’ve written about thi particular shop before here or not. It’s the sort of shop where you have to be willing to devote time to searching and even literally kneel down if you’re a children’s book collector or, er, a bookish child. I had a bit of a misanthropic spell there. I’d like to say it was idiot holiday-makers who clearly only went into bookshops when they came across them unexpectedly out of the daily run, but it was people in general. It was mainly the lack of space, books are essentially in piles, three deep in one small room. I scattered some piles about three times and got stepped upon.

Still, I got all of the books that I’m going to discuss next (and more) there:

The Adventurous Rebel: Eileeen Graham. C&J Temple, 1949?.

This is a historical adventure for older girls. I am getting tired of the way early twentieth century children’s writers automatically side with the Royalists (oh those gay cavaliers!) all the time. Read more... )

I then read (an overpriced copy given the edition and its condition)

Still Glides the Stream: DE Stevenson. Fontana, 1965.Will Hastie returns to the Borders having stayed in the army after the second world war, but, now in his mid thirties, he means to settle and make a go of things at home. He grew up with the family next door, almost counting Rae his brother and Patty his sister, but Rae died in the war, leaving his parents broken and hopeless. Patty now has a fiancée, who should help her, but Will - unaccountably doesn’t like him. A telling picnic gone wrong shows Patty that she doesn’t like him that much either, but Will has gone off to investigate a mystery thrown up by an enigmatic message from Rae that arrived after news of his death. In the south of France, where Rae died, Will discovers that his friend found and married a beautiful Frenchwoman, and she bore him a son, Tom, in many ways Rae to the life again. Will eventually brings them home, where Tom heals his grandparents and Patty feels she should be happier than she is. It's all very gentle, and I liked it more than I did the last Stevenson that I read, although I was in some anxiety that Stevenson would pair off the ‘right' couple (to my mind), something she doesn’t always do.

This book loosely follows up Amberwell and Summerhills with a visit there that reminded me of people visiting Rosamund’s castle in the Abbey series. I read Amberwell when I was too young to grasp it, really. I wanted it to be more of a book about children and their big house than it was, and then it was a long time after when I read Summerhills.

The Treasure of the Trevellyans: Doris Pocock The Commonwealth Library 2 Ward lock 1959

is a perfectly fine family adventure book about the large brood of an impecunious if well regarded artist who inherits the family seat. Given what the weather is like these days, I like that Pocock does not give them a wonderful Cornish summer. It rains. A lot. Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Stanton's Comes of Age: Sylvia Little, Stanmore Press 1947

This was the first Sylvia Little book I've read since finding out that Sylvia Little = Eric Leyland, who also used the name Nesta Grant, so, I was hyper-aware of any mention of gender, often in the form of authorial 'asides' about boys' and girls' natures. I hadn't ever suspected that the author was really a man, although I had noticed that boys did tread into the hallowed school grounds in Little's books. I've come across very few mixed boarding school a la Hogwarts. Following the real-life culture, older children's books and their fictional schools were strictly divided. I can think of one Mabel Esther Allan, there's the school that Blyton's Naughtiest Girl goes to, and there may be others, but I don't recall them, except for at least one school (Castle School, I think) that Little has written about. I think that in the other Little book I own, Queen's has a close relationship with a boys school (?), which is the case between the girls' school in Stanton's Comes of Age, the Trebizon books (set much later, though) and By Honour Bound link by Bessie Marchant and Sally at School. You know, the sort of school where the heroines' brothers go to. The language is of being chums rather than girlfriends and boyfriends (hi, Trebizon). This type of arrangement is still pretty rare in most of the girls' boarding schools I've read. Boys are for Christmas hols, mainly.

As for the book itself Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Book shop store front, text reading 'wear the old coat, buy the new book.' (Book not coat)
Eek! It's a week since I scrawled the first version of this. I really should have typed and pasted it sooner.

Apart from some transportation problems - a late bus here, me missing a train there - there were no adventures a week ago on my trip to Hay-on-Wye. Instead I relaxed and did some heavy-duty shopping. The Hay on Wye damage was cough books for splutter pounds. I've been consoling myself by working out that the average cost of each book was around a fiver, which is cheaper than your average first hand paperback. I've also vowed not to buy any more books for a while, which seems a more realistic goal than not spending any money ever. In fact, I'm probably set for well beyond the time when the last Harry Potter is published, but I'll make an exception for that.

Pen, Polly and their Brothers: Doris Pocock, Blackie
is the first new purchase from Hay-on-Wye that I've delved into.
click here for a review )

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