11/07/2001

Gay from China at the Chalet School (by Elinor M Brent-Dyer)

Elinor M Brent-Dyer wrote over fifty books in her 'Chalet School' series. I read them first as a teenager, and have enjoyed dipping into them randomly ever since.

'Gay from China at the Chalet School' features Jacynth Hardy, sent to the Chalet School by her aunt who is her only living relative. Her aunt is about to have a major operation, and although Jacynth - a likeable girl - is happy to go to school, she's very worried about her aunt.

Meanwhile, the school Heads are involved in a car accident, and the ghastly Miss Bubb comes as a temporary replacement. She's not as horrible as JK Rowling's Dolores Umbridge, but still completely wrong for the Chalet School, which has an important emphasis on health, freedom and friendship, as well as academic excellence.

Gay Lambert befriends Jacynth, discovering a shared interest in music, and teaches her to play the cello.

Good adventures - some of the Chalet School books are a bit samey, but this one is a little different and all the more enjoyable for that.

Note - more recent editions have changed the title to 'Gay Lambert at the Chalet School'.

(Evidently I particularly like this book - longer reviews can be found on reading 'Gay from China at the Chalet School' again in 2002, and yet again in 2003!)

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