29/08/2011

Peggy of the Chalet School (by Elinor M Brent-Dyer)

It's a bit random when I decide to read another of Elinor M Brent-Dyer's 'Chalet School' series. I had a few hours yesterday, so decided to get to the next one, which follows immediately after 'The Chalet School and the Island'.

I last read 'The Chalet School and Peggy' in 2000, eleven and a half years ago. Despite this gap, I remembered the plot well, and the eventual resolution. Probably I read it too many times during my teens.

Polly and Lala are two rather spoilt sisters, introduced in the first chapter, and constrasted with the dainty, polite Peggy Bettany, who is now 16. Their father is determined to send them to boarding school, and after Peggy's recommendation they are accepted at the Chalet School. Peggy offers to escort them there by train, along with her two younger sisters, but then manages to get lost, after a station change. However, she makes a new friend and arrives eventually.

Peggy then finds that she has been given an unexpected responsibility in the school, which she does not in the least want. Worse, this stirs up jealousy from someone who should be mature enough to know better. Naturally, it takes awhile for the problem to be resolved... and that is really the main plot of the book. Polly and Lala are mentioned in passing, but seem to find it much easier to settle down than would be expected; the author apparently got caught up in Peggy's problems, and allowed the new girls to settle in quite easily.

It's not a bad book, but not particularly exciting either. I felt it was rather a run-of-the-mill school story although pleasant enough light reading. Not currently in print, but the Armada paperback (abridged) version can often be found in charity shops, or inexpensively online. The original hardback is quite rare and usually expensive, and I don't think it has yet been reproduced by the Girls Gone By publishers.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 29th August 2011

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