I don’t know when I first read A Background for Beryl by Sylvia Little. It’s another of my Mum’s prize books so it would have been in the house all my life. Mum went on to collect books by the author but this is still the only one I’ve read.
It’s a bit of a Cinderella story. Seventeen year old Beryl loses her job as secretary to Mrs Marlowe but is then adopted by her sister. She is sent to school, the same school that Mrs Marlowe’s daughter Christine attends. Neither girl is happy with this arrangement but it is Beryl who suffers more. Of course, there’s a happy ending and Beryl, whose background Chris has dismissed, turns out to be the daughter of someone of great renown.
It’s pretty standard fare and very short but I’ve always loved it. I think Beryl and Chris are strong and rounded characters, each with faults and failings as well as virtues. The supporting cast plays its part and it’s one of those books I’d like to see continued. Now we know Beryl’s background, it would be fun to follow her future.