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Mary-Lou of the Chalet School by Elinor M.…

Mary-Lou of the Chalet School (original 1956; edition 2012)

by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

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165272,171 (3.67)7
Title:Mary-Lou of the Chalet School
Authors:Elinor M. Brent-Dyer
Info:Girls Gone By (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Chalet School
Tags:Chalet School, girls-gone-by

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Mary-Lou of the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer (1956)



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I've loved the Chalet School series for more years than I care to think about but, to be blunt, have never warmed towards this book's eponymous character, Mary-Lou Trelawney.

That was, however, until I was lucky enough to be given a copy of an unabridged edition of this title. 'Our one and only' is portrayed with much more depth and, for me, is therefore much less brash and bossy than I've felt her to be in the past: in fact, I thoroughly liked her!

I liked the rest of the book, too. It was heavily abridged for the Armada edition (though, as always, I'm grateful to them for introducing me to Chaletland) and it's been lovely to read the full text. ( )
  patchygirl | Oct 7, 2016 |
This is 34th in the original lengthy series. It's set in Switzerland in the middle of the 20th century. Mary-Lou Trelawny is one of the strongest characters in the series, introduced in ‘Three Go to the Chalet School’. By the time this story opens she’s fifteen, and returning to school a week late as she’s just lost her beloved grandmother.

Mary-Lou meets a new girl called Jessica who seems to have a permanent black shadow hanging over her. She’s told everyone else to leave her alone, and they’ve done so. But Mary-Lou is determined to find out what’s wrong. She’s grown up quite a bit since her early, outspoken years, and has learned some tact, so she ponders for a while before trying to get to the root of the problem.

The writing isn’t the greatest; there are too many descriptions of food and irrelevant small talk, and a couple of dull educational chapters in the middle featuring the school on a field trip. But that doesn’t matter when the people seem so real. The climax to the book is extremely moving.

Recommended to all who enjoyed this series in their teens, and to anyone who likes 20th century school stories of this genre.
( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
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Mary-Lou Trelawney stood at the window of her cubicle in Cornflower dormitory gazing out across the valley to the opposite mountains with dreamy eyes.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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