13/09/2003

Eustacia goes to the Chalet School (by Elinor M Brent-Dyer)

As a teenager, I read my way through the entire Chalet school series by Elinor M Brent-Dyer, all of which were in my school's library in hardback editions. Admittedly some of them were a bit samey, but I loved the underlying themes of honesty and integrity, and the delightful characters.

'Eustacia goes to the Chalet School' is one of the earlier ones in the series. It's about Eustacia Benson, only daughter of a very clever professor. She is sent to the Chalet School in Austria after he dies.

Eustacia considers herself rather superior to everyone else, and this inevitably leads to some clashes and arguments with other girls in the school.

Crisis begins when she decides to run away, but times it just before a major rainstorm. However, what happens afterwards transforms her way of thinking, and ultimately her life, after a great deal of pain.

Really intended for girls of about eleven or twelve and older, but I think I enjoy these books all the more as an adult. Very pleasant light reading.

Various editions have been published, including abridged ones in paperback. Second-hand versions can often be found, although the hardbacks are often priced extremely high.

(You can also read my longer review of 'Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School' written on re-reading six years later)

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