The Chiltons by Gwendoline Courtney (1953).
Squibs at School by Freda C Bond (1951). The fourth in a series but I haven’t read any of the others. Imagine Maddy of the Blue Doors at boarding school and you have the picture.
Evelyn Finds Herself by Josephine Elder (1929) It is good but there is something about Josephine Elder which I just can’t like, although I can’t really explain it, either. She has rather a cold, fishy eye, to my taste.
Margery Finds Herself by Doris Pocock (1921) How very different!
Lady Rose & Mrs Memmary by Ruby Ferguson Adult novel first published 1937. Rather like Elizabeth Goudge or D E Stevenson. Too full of romantic Scottish nonsense about the Stuarts, but that is typical of the period.
Gorry by Isabel Cameron (1925?) Linked short stories set in a poor Scottish glen. I was surprised to find these were written so late: I would have put an earlier date on them. Perhaps it was the frequent references to ‘The Glen’ but I was reminded very much of L M Montgomery. This author’s books were obviously hugely popular at the time.
Troublesome Things by Diane Purkiss (2000)
Music in the Hills by D E Stevenson (1950)
The Buckinghams at Ravenswyke by Malcolm Saville (1952). A first time read for me. Struck by how grown up it is, justifying the publishers’ claim (on one of the LP dws) that Malcolm Saville is ‘a novelist for children’. Unlike the Lone Piners, Charles, Juliet & Simon can be quite snappy with each other and they get frightened: Simon says he would much rather read about adventures than be in one. Then there’s the sexual tension around beautiful Juliet. At one point she has her arm around Mr Renislau (Charles’ father) then suddenly realises where her arm is and removes it ‘as though Mr R had been red hot’.
The Chinese Shawl by Patricia Wentworth. A Miss Silver book
The fox in the cupboard by Jane Shilling (2004).
The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith.
Kif by Josephine Tey (first published 1929 by ‘Gordon Daviot’).
Brother & Sister by Joanna Trollope (2004). I kept confusing the different characters.
A Paint-Box for Pauline by Ruby Ferguson (1953) illus Caney. Family story. Four sisters choose separate holidays rather than go with their parents to Devon as usual. Things don’t work out exactly as they expected but each one comes home having learnt a lot.
The book I enjoyed most this month was probably The fox in the cupboard (sic). Surprising, really, as most of it is about hunting. It’s almost a pony book for grownups but much more, and beautifully written.