You might think I’ve chosen another book by Elinor Brent-Dyer to include in this lockdown selection but I haven’t – although I understand why you might be fooled into thinking otherwise. I love Visitors for the Chalet School by Helen McClelland, the original (I think) fill-in to the series. It’s a great addition but it’s a good book in its own right too.
When I read Elinor Brent-Dyer’s books I don’t really feel a sense of period but Visitors makes me aware that I’m reading about a bygone age. This is a good thing! For me, the historical detail adds so much to the book. It also gives a wonderful outsider’s view of the Chalet School and contextualises it well. And it gives more description of Tirol, a place I love regardless of the Chalet School.
And I remember Helen fondly too. She took the trouble to keep in touch with a young teenage Chalet School enthusiast in the north east of Scotland and found me an Australian pen-pal, with whom I kept in touch for years. In turn she put me in touch with a friend of hers and that was the beginning of my Chalet School networking. Hello Michelle and Rosemary if you’re reading this!