My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The sixth in the series, rich with the gorgeous detail of the Tyrol and the sheer thrill of the early titles, Eustacia Goes To The Chalet School is spectacular. It’s sort of a blueprint of everything the Chalet School series could be when it was on form.
Following the now traditional concept of new term, new girls, this term sees Eustacia join the Chalet School. Eustacia is sort of different. She’s an ‘arrant little prig’. It took me a long time to actually figure out what that means but it’s not good. Even the narrator hates her.
Eustacia’s time at the Chalet School isn’t brilliant. She breaks rules left, right and centre – and does it with an insouciant aplomb. And, perhaps inevitably, she ends up making enemies of all and sundry – even the darling of the series Joey Bettany.
If you’ve previously read any of the Chalet School series, you’ll know this sort of behaviour is Not On and Not Becoming Of A Chalet School Girl and Eustacia is Ripe For A Reformation. Eustacia’s reformation is pretty damn spectacular, even in a series obsessed with near-death incidents.
This book is brilliant, but it’s one you sort of can’t judge with anything remotely approaching logic. Basically, it’s like the Chalet School gone a little bit nuts. It’s amazing.
For another perspective on Eustacia, I’d recommend you read this from the excellent Fantastic Reads.