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Sailboat adventure

OVERVIEWS: One film and two adventure stories

My Cousin Rachel
This adaptation of Du Maurier’s book, which I haven’t read, revolves around the question of ‘did she or didn’t she?’ She is Rachel, excellently played by Rachel Weisz, the widow of Ambrose, the cousin who brought up Phillip. Ambrose sent messages to Phillip before dying in Italy claiming that his new wife was poisoning him, and until she comes to England, Phillip, his heir, is inclined to believe the worst of Rachel. But she turns up and confounds the young man, a motherless boy on the verge of coming into his inheritance. Although I like him in the right role, I thought Claflin was miscast here, and the film’s ending didn’t satisfy me, although fans have lapped it up. The film-makers, I think, have brought in a critique of English sexism in the nineteenth century to a brew of desire, money and power. It’s a good-looking film, lucidly told and certainly invites the viewer to come to their own conclusions.

Adventure on Rainbow Island by Dorothy Clewes
I enjoyed this well enough, considering it was narrated by a sixteen year old chauvinist who ought to be grateful he has a younger sister named Eileen who thinks things through and provides sandwiches for him and younger brother Bobbie, instead of patronising her and finding her irritating. ‘Rainbow Island’ is the name the Hadleys give Sark – this is a series of books featuring them with colour-related titles. I own ‘The Adventure of the Blue Admiral’, but don’t remember a scrap about it. They go there to stay with a friend and to solve a mystery that goes back a few years, to the time when Sark was under Nazi occupation, about which the children seem oddly callous. There are some bits where the writing was very vivid, but in terms of plotting, it was quite predictable, especially when Clewes was laying down clues.

I've also recently reread The Ambermere Treasure by Malcolm Saville, featuring the Jillies and Standings. I’d bought a second copy by accident, although I can see why I didn’t really remember it. For a Saville book, where location is usually so important, this is quite generic. Ambermere Manor is one of those many stately homes in children’s literature visited by Elizabeth 1 (however did she manage to rule a country?) and where a family treasure was rumoured to have been lost during the Civil War. Mandy Jillions is sure she can find it, and where bossy Mandy leads, Prue, Tim, the besotted Guy and his younger brother Mark will follow. Saville writes his baddies distinctively, and I enjoyed how Mandy keeps Guy in check, while he does the same for her, and how she keeps younger brother Tim and new charge Patricia in line and so on, but ‘generic’ is the word, even allowing for the fact that the Jillies mean less to me than the Lone Piners and the Buckinghams because I didn’t grow up with them.

This entry was originally posted at http://feather-ghyll.dreamwidth.org/142773.html. Please comment wherever you prefer to.


I think everyone has a Dorothy Clewes book lying somewhere unread.

My favourite Jillies book is probably Two Fair Plaits. I love the period London atmosphere. I don't feel any need to read The Ambermere Treasure again.
I think everyone has a Dorothy Clewes book lying somewhere unread.

:) But I rather think I did read it, years and years ago.

I don't feel the need to reread the Jillies books on purpose, not even the one in Swizerland, and I have a weakness for Swiss-set books. The series doesn't have the same hold on me as his others.
Girl reader

April 2018



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