The Chalet School and Richenda by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have a lot of love for this one, even though it’s left me with the following ailment. Whenever I’m introduced to somebody with the surname of “Fry”, I automatically think “Fry. Are you related to Elizabeth Fry, the great reformer?” Damn you EBD, damn you and your stubbornly addictive books.
Anyway, this is towards the end of the series so quality’s a bit pap but that’s a given, as is the fact that Joey will Sort Things Out (despite having to have an operation!) and somewhere in there, we’ll have Highjinks Involving The Middles. The main plot of Richenda is rather straightforward (she says…) Basically, Richenda’s dad is a bit overly severe, sends Richenda off to school as a punishment because she touches his priceless vase, Richenda gets all matey with the trips and Len in particular, ends up being nearly blinded by an obnoxious small child and ultimately things all end up okay between her and her dad. Like I said … straightforward. I love this period of the books, where the quality dips but the plots go bananas (see evidence a – Redheads at the Chalet School)
One of my other favourite parts of this book comes during the flooded river scene. I love how it’s time for the big girls to earn their keep and so the magnificent Joan Baker and Nancy Wilmot basically get to save the day because of their size. This is a rarity in Chalet School lands, and for Joan in particular (who never really gets to become a real Chalet School girl).
Not the best, but not the worst (I’m looking at YOU Althea Joins the Chalet School).
9 thoughts on “The Chalet School and Richenda : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”
I think now I’ve become so immune to the shenanigans in the series that I actually start to miss the madness when a book is saner than normal.
Richenda is one of my favourite CS characters – an interesting and unusual ambition! I think she would have followed it through too, and not been derailed by marriage.
Apologies it took me a while to approve this – and yes, I agree with you! She always sort of reminds me of the reformed Stacie.
I have the same problem with Frys.
Food for thought: Richenda is related to Elizabeth Fry. Noel Streatfeild was also related to Elizabeth Fry. Therefore, Richenda is related to Noel Streatfeild (or at least to the Vicarage Family’s Victoria)!
I remember being very excited by Richenda because I was brought up as a Quaker and she was too. I’m not sure that Professor Fry was particularly Quakerly in his treatment of Richenda though! I’ve always found her a very honest, sincere, authentic character.
I’ve got a lot of love for Richenda – she’s very much one of my more favourite ‘later’ characters 🙂