JS New House at Northmead by Jane Shaw
Northmead Series No 1
New House at Northmead is the first of the two books about Northmead, a girls’ school in Kent. The story begins with Elizabeth and Anne, senior girls at the recently established and aptly named New House, lamenting that just as they have reached the upper echelons of Clarke’s House, where Elizabeth was about to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming head girl, they find themselves transferred to New House.
They voice their concerns that only the less talented girls will be put in the house, thereby crippling their hopes of trophies and shields in sports events and intellectual competitions, a fear that is not unjustified.
The focus then shifts to the main characters, third-form girls Nicole Charteris and Kay Crawford. They are skivers, being described as full of enthusiasm and wishing to improve the Form, the school and the human race which, unfortunately, doesn’t leave them much time for things like maths and Latin.
There is a new girl at the school, Lynette du Toit, from Africa. She is having great difficulty in adapting to life in England, bemoaning the lack of sunshine, the fog and drizzle and the fact that she has no servants. Nicky and Kay decide to take her under their wing and show her how good England can really be.
But before they do that, Nicky and Kay decide to set up the New House Insurance Company. Other pupils can adhere to the scheme by paying a premium. In return, the co-owners will take care of lines, punishment exercises and house marks (the scheme promises to compensate house marks with sixpence). Is this something which will work?
We have an introduction by Jane Shaw’s daughter, Jane Evans and will also be including a short story by Jane Shaw.
New House at Northmead was published on 25 July 2022.