slemslempike: (girlsown: end of term)
[personal profile] slemslempike
I thoroughly enjoyed the GGBP-published Antonia Forest sequel, and I really hope that Sally Hayward writes another.

I had been worried that it would be a not-quite-successful and rather jarring attempt to copy AF's writing, but while there are definite bits of AF language and rhythm, it's just written as Sally Hayward. There are some things I disagree with - apart from thinking that the editor really should have imposed some sort of ration on emphatic italics, I really don't believe in Ginty's slide into badness.

I don't think even AF could have convincingly brought Ginty so low in the course of one book/term, and it's not carried off in Spring Term. Ginty's always been the Marlow most capable of self-deceit, but she also cares desperately what other people think of her, and I don't see her managing to escape the panopticon of family and school opinion to this extent. She's done unpleasant things before (I'm thinking of lying to Monica about deliberately doing badly in the diving competition), but always seemed to try to resolve not to do such a thing again. In Spring Term she has very little wavering, and is uncharacteristically blinkered about her misdeeds. The postscript by Sally Hayward is more sympathetic than the story itself. I think I would have liked a great deal more about Ginty's inner self, and what she was feeling about Patrick, rather than coming off rather simplistically petulant. And I was annoyed that Patrick's bad behaviour (or at the very least, blithely callous approach) seemed to be excused by Ginty's subsequent actions.

Despite this, as I said, I enjoyed it greatly. The staging of Cyrano de Bergerac was incredibly well done, I thought. (Though the thought crosses my mind after reading that perhaps "the school/form struggles through rehearsals that few people think will succeed" is a little too common in Kingscote!), as was Nick's singing and relationship with Dr Herrick. I did wonder about the non-believer thing - I had always read Nick's discomfort with people "believing properly" as being (largely) a Catholic/Protestant thing for her, and I never got the impression that she didn't believe in God. Early on in this though, she seemed to be claiming atheism for Peter and Giles as well as herself.

I saw a few posts talking about Spring Term before I got a copy. I'd like to go back and read them, but forgot to save any! If anyone were able to point me in the right direction I'd be very grateful indeed.

Date: 2011-11-12 09:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katlinel.livejournal.com
I'm very grateful to Sally Hayward because on the day I read Spring Term it was exactly what I needed, regardless of any criticisms I have of it.

The only review I've seen, apart from [livejournal.com profile] debodacious's brief comment, is this one.

Date: 2011-11-12 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slemslempike.livejournal.com
Oh, I am glad you got what you needed that day.

Thanks for the link - hmmm to some of the comments!

Date: 2011-11-12 09:32 pm (UTC)
jinty: (amulet)
From: [personal profile] jinty
That's the only one I've seen too. The OP didn't really like it much, did she?

Date: 2011-11-12 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slemslempike.livejournal.com
The points she made are quite reasonable (by which I mean that I agree to a certain extent with most of them :)), but I thought they were expressed rather sharply, especially considering that Sally Haywood has commented to Trennels before. Though having said that, actually I don't think that comments should be tempered just because an author might see them. Perhaps I only believe in death of a professional author?

I think the OP has previously written fic herself. I much preferred Spring Term to what I read of it - even/especially fans in such a small fandom will have different ideas about what makes a good AF fic/continuation.
Edited Date: 2011-11-12 09:43 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-11-12 09:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katlinel.livejournal.com
Oooh, which comments are you hmmmmming? Or are you replying there?

I've been trying to get my act together to do a post on the book, but yes, I agree that Ginty gets a major hatchet job done on her in Spring Term. I think Ann does too, but then I also think that of Run Away Home where she's set up to be the antagonist, to an extent. I'm wondering if SH's version is to set up Ginty's running away to be a groom, which apparently is what AF had planned for her, something I could never quite believe.

Date: 2011-11-12 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slemslempike.livejournal.com
Not replying there, but I'm looking forward to talking to you about it when next we meet. (I shall finish my draft email saying yes please about more Tenko soon, I promise!) Unless it's the sort of book you like to keep more internal.

Date: 2011-11-12 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katlinel.livejournal.com
I would love to talk about it - it's not that I need to keep it internal. It's more that I'm going through one of those phases where I think I should post about X before posting about Y, but posting about Y is complicated and then I end up posting about neither X nor Y.

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