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Charlotte Fairlie by D. E. Stevenson
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Charlotte Fairlie (1954)

by D. E. Stevenson

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One thing I enjoy about D.E. Stevenson's writing is that she not only makes her characters REAL, but she lets her stories progress at their own pace, without need for melodramatic additions or artificial stimulations. The Enchanted Isle is described as a romance, but it's more about people: their problems, and their faults. From the vindictive, petty spinster who is never happy unless she's making others miserable, to the self-centered professor who emotionally abuses his children without being aware of it, even to the lonely headmistress who mistakenly thought she had everything she's ever wanted, we see a slice of small town that could be much like our own.

As I read I never felt as if the author was manipulating me emotionally as happens with other novels, but that she was sharing the ups and downs of people much like those around me. I liked the clean, fresh manner of Charlotte Fairlie's world, and wouldn't mind returning if it were possible. ( )
  fuzzi | Mar 31, 2017 |
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Alternate titles are: Charlotte Fairlie and Blow the Wind Southerly
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Book description
... Charlotte Fairlie, while still under thirty had been appointed headmistress of St. Elizabeth's, a fine school with great traditions. Charlotte soon leaned however that a headmistress's life is the loneliest of all - a long round of coping with the hidden tensions of the staff room, the handling of over three hundred girls and - worse still - their parents. Yet it was one of those parents - Colonel MacRynne, father of young Tessa whose early days at the school had been so unsettled - who was to be the means of her escape from her encompassing loneliness. Miss Stevenson's new novel takes us from the pleasant, rolling West Country of England to Targ, one of the remoter of the Western Isles and introduces us to a fascinating new set of characters in a story as warm and human and delightful as any she has yet given us. (from 1954 Collins edition blurb)
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Charlotte Fairlie is a successful, elegant career woman. Still in her 20s, she has landed a job as headmistress of her old school. She is admired and liked by both staff and pupils - but she begins to feel there is something missing in her well-organised life.Then one summer she goes to stay with a young pupil on the remote Scottish Isle of Targ. In the romantic atmosphere of the Highlands, anything can happen - and even the cool, efficient Charlotte surprises herself.… (more)

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