Robins in the Abbey by Elsie J. Oxenham
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
We are many moons into the Abbey books by now so, as is tradition with this sort of thing, this title will make very little sense to anybody who hasn’t read all of the others and taken notes and made family trees and developed a healthy tolerance of everybody being called J- something or R- something and everybody giving! birth!
Honestly, I think Robins In The Abbey is the most EJO EJO that I have ever read and that is quite something. Let me find the particular quote that made me realise we were in for something special:
“Littlejan Fraser. Her real name is Joan after my cousin Joan, whose elder girl is called Janice, after Littlejan’s mother Janice. When Marigold was born she was so like her mother that her father called Little Jan, and the name stuck, although she was christened Joan.”
“She tried to make us forget Littlejan and call her Joan-Two or Joan the Second, when she first came home,” Lindy remarked, “But I don’t believe people will ever do it, though they may call her Marigold, now that she’s Queen. But she wasn’t Marigold when I saw her a year ago.”
I mean, what? What the who the what? Things only get better after that point. Rosamund has kids that she dubs all Ros-something, all of the men pop up briefly to make hottie faces at their respective hotties before disappearing in fear from the throngs of women called the same thing, Joy behaves like a muppet before pulling her socks up and Doing The Right Thing, the Abbey girls make friends with somebody called Robertina who’s known as Robin (nobody has one name in this book) and an unattached hottie called Robin pops up and WILL THE TWO ROBINS GET TOGETHER? Of course they will, for this is written on cards and obvious to everyone, even the characters in the book, and all the reader has to do is weep, numb with confusion.
It’s a lot, and EJO is kind of my nemesis for this sort of thing, but it’s still quite enjoyable in a sort of incomprehensible manner? And I don’t know how I can think that when 90% of this book is just the characters repeatedly telling each other their names?