The Second World War is nearing its end when two sets of sisters start at the Chalet School. The Herberts – Bess, Madge, Nan and Ruth – have never been to school before but are eager for the experience. Triplets Len, Con and Margot, have grown up in the shadow of the School and know all about it, but still encounter some unexpected difficulties in their first few months as schoolgirls. Bess and her sisters make good friends at the school, but gradually become aware of an undercurrent of ill-feeling pervading the school. At the end of a long War, and with painful losses, some girls are not willing to accept the spirit of the Chalet School’s Peace League and start committing petty acts of spite to make their feelings known. The School’s German speaking girls come in for a lot of hostility, and at first the prefects are baffled how to deal with it. Their carefully thought out punishment initially only seems to make things worse. As the troubles deepen, the Herberts and their friends, the Staff, prefects and of course Joey all contribute to help the school understand the real meaning of sisterhood. As well as the school setting, Sisters at the Chalet School contains many delightful scenes at Joey’s home, as she kits out the girls for school, welcomes Biddy on a visit from Oxford and celebrates the triplets’ fifth birthday in fine style.
Amy Fletcher was born and brought up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She still lives there with Spice, her long-haired dachshund, who doesn't really approve of this writing project as she is jealous of the laptop!
Her first Chalet book, when she was about 10, was Jo of the Chalet School, which came from a neighbour with older girls. From then she accessed more from the library (her second home!), and with every book token. She still reads them constantly, working her way through the series in order, including every fill-in she can get her hands on. Some are now sufficiently fragile to have to live in plastic bags, pending GGBP republishing them! At bedtime she needs to read something that is well written, familiar, and turns out well in the end, and her Chalet books fill that slot admirably well. When the pile of books by her bed starts to topple they go back in the bookcase until their turn comes round again. Her younger brother shared her enthusiasm, and eventually gave her FOCS membership for a birthday present, (around the year 2000) and a copy of New Beginnings at the Chalet School by Heather Paisley - her first inkling that anything was being added to the series. Anticipating a period of relative inactivity following a planned hip re-surfacing in 2008, she thought she would have a go at a Chalet fill-in and this book – many years in the making – is the result. Having ascertained that the term chosen was available, she found she had to do so much research into World War II and life in the War years that she ended up knowing more about it than when she had to study it for O level! She found particular delight in writing the home scenes with the Maynard family, and especially enjoyed the Triplets' birthday celebrations, including books from her childhood among their presents
Sisters at the Chalet School was published on 30 May.
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