(Forgive me, but I’m on a Chalet School kick at the moment… 🙂 )
Joey Goes to the Oberland by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It’s not my favourite this one, and yet it’s still oddly hypnotic and occasionally rather lovely. Set outside of the school, Joey and her family are moving house. They are to set up in Switzerland and inevitable highjinks will occur before they arrive there. Some of the highjinks are a little more convincing than others (oh my gosh they forgot the macs! wait, they bought some macs!). There is a special place in my heart for the fifteen hundred pages discussing the bathing arrangements in an antiquated French chateau, and yet it’s still delightful. Tedious but delightful. Ridiculous, yet beautiful. Inane, and yet delightful.
This is just past halfway in the series and we’re not far enough into the madness for the wonder of those early books to have been lost. Miss Ferrars and her speedboat remains on the horizon, and sometimes, suddenly, when Simone pulls rank on Joey, or when Robin’s around, everything in this book absolutely sings. Talking of Robin as well, she gets palmed off to the convent a little too quickly for my liking. There’s a lot that happens ‘off-stage’ in this book, to be reported back to the reader after it happened, and I can’t decide whether that’s awful writing or, having not read the unabridged edition, the distinct skill of the Armada editing team.
Also, the language here is peculiar; every other chapter title features the word ‘Surprise’, and Joey’s family is repeatedly referred to as the ‘brats’. Forgive me if I’m forgetful here, but I honestly don’t remember this reoccurring in any of the other books and it’s an odd choice here. Jo’s a lot of things (she says, backing away slightly from listing them all) but I never have her down as somebody who’d call her kids brats.
Also, then there’s the sandwich thing. *looks at camera*
3 thoughts on “Joey Goes To The Oberland : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”
Worth reading the unexpurgated version.
Isn’t this the book where Len whips out her Missal and declares it to be St Cajetan’s feast day so they have a luscious festal meal? That always baffled me as he was not the patron saint of any of the adults or children present that day, and he was a pretty obscure saint anyway…. I must now immediately unearth my hardback copy and re-read:-)
Yes! Len “of the enquiring mind” demands a missal. Which always confused me as I wasn’t exactly sure what one was…!
The Missal was a handy one volume book which contained the “bare bones” of the service of the Mass plus all the necessary readings (collects, Epistles and Gospels) for every Sunday of the year, major Feasts and Saints’ days, along with a Calendar of Saints commemorated.
Some Saints were more important/well-known than others and ranked more highly as to how they were commemorated. If it was the feast day of your Patron Saint, it would often be celebrated with a nice meal and/or small gifts and you would generally attend Mass on that day too if possible. St Cajetan is not a well-known Saint 😉