18/09/2003

Highland Twins at the Chalet School (by Elinor M Brent-Dyer)

I've enjoyed Elinor M Brent-Dyer's 'Chalet School' books for over thirty years, now. They're intended for teenage girls, of course, but are well enough written that they make a good crossover book, enjoyed just as much by many adults.

'The Highland Twins at the Chalet School' is one of my favourites in the entire series, and I re-read it regularly, whenever I'm with someone who has one of the rare (and now valuable) hardback editions.

Flora and Fiona McDonald are sent to the Chalet School from their tiny highland island, when it is requisitioned by the admiralty during World War II. They come at first to stay with Jo Maynard and family, since they've never been out of their safe environment, and have no concept of big cities or boarding schools.

They make friends and settle down, despite their sheltered upbringing and distrust of new things, and become very fond of Jo.

Excitement happens when an important chart they're looking after is talked about, leading to some suspicious characters trying to get hold of it.

Just to add to the story, Fiona is gifted with second sight. She 'sees' the death of one of her family members, and is then able to bring comfort to Jo later on, when Jo is facing a potential tragedy in her life.

Very moving in places - fast-moving, with believable characters. Definitely recommended, if you like this series and can get hold of it. It's not currently in print and tends to be very pricey second-hand.

You can also read my slightly longer review of 'Highland Twins at the Chalet School', written after re-reading in 2011.

No comments: