And now, onto the very important matter of those new Malory Towers books. They are much more Blytonish than Pamela Cox’s contributions to the St Clare’s books, though still unBlytonish in some ways.
Partly the Blytonish stuff comes from using elements of previous stories (either St Clare’s or earlier Malory Towers books). For example, there is an American student who needs to be made more Englishy and wholesome. There are many practical jokes and midnight feasts. There is an incidence of a girl redeeming herself via saving another student from a burning building. (But of course!) There are family secrets and devious people and stressed-out sleepwalkers and possible thieves!
I am very fond of Felicity Rivers, it must be said, so I was delighted to see her adventures throughout the school (and being like Darrell in some ways, but unlike her in others). And June!
The last book does feature a very fanservicey and improbable reunion of all the old girls, but it is nevertheless quite fantastic. Minor spoiler alert: Darrell becomes a journalist and also has just sold her first children’s book in that final book. Come on, that’s pretty perfect.
(Bill and Clarissa continue to run their spinster horsey school and allegedly sleep in different bedrooms. Hmmph.)
So, yes… not the worst Blyton sequels ever, by a long shot. Definitely worth giving ’em a try, anyway.
(In other girls’ series news, have an article about the return of the BSC books in 2010. The books and the prequel have been up on Amazon for a while, but this is the first official thing I’ve seen about it.)