This week I finished the second St Clare’s book, no mean feat when I have been staying with Fiona and we have had such a busy week. However, we were on the beach on Tuesday and I managed to get some reading done in the sun (and mist), so here I am, reviewing it.
The O’Sullivan Twins starts with the twins being much less whiny than they were in the beginning of the first book. Almost straight away we get introduced to their cousin Alison, who had been with them at Redroofs. Alison is the same sort of vain, silly girl as the twins had been one term earlier. After this big, long introduction to Alison she really pays very little part in the story.
Now we start with the journey to St Clare’s and meet some of the regular chums, Tessie, who invites them to a midnight feast, Janet, and some others. We also get to see more of Mamzelle who is probably the main teacher in this book. She plays some key parts in the story as well.
There are two new girls in the form, Lucy and Margery, and rather like Belinda and Ellen in the Second Form at Malory Towers, the two new girls are liked and hated.
Margery is sullen, and closed in, but shows a talent at being good at games, hockey especially and is picked for the team at St Clare’s. However before the match, Margery gets wound up and explodes at the girls’ history teacher, which causes the whole class to send her to Coventry and when she shoots the winning goal in the hockey match, no one cheers. It really is most odd. You don’t find out why Margery is the surly until half-term but no one seems sympathetic to her position and she gets blamed unjustly for things that begin to happen to the twins later in the book.
In many ways the book is unjustly named after the O’Sullivan twins as they take quite a back seat in the plot of this book. Pat and Isabelle do join in the midnight feast, but they do not play in the hockey match, or plan any tricks with anyone, and for some quite large chunks of the book, they do not appear at all.
However when they do appear, Pat becomes the dominant twin; she is the one people think of first, she is the one who becomes the target of a hate campaign, and Pat is the one who seems to take control of the situations the twins find themselves in.
If I’m honest, I felt that there wasn’t really a lot happening in this book, and when things were happening, it seemed forced and all too familiar (I read the Malory Towers books first and it seems to me that a lot of plot points in St Clare’s were reworked into better plots for Malory Towers). The characters are almost the same as well. In this book, Erica reminds me of Gwendoline Lacey who cannot see her own wrong doings. Lucy reminds me of Belinda, as I’ve already pointed out and Margery as Ellen.
The only thing that really feels different in this book from anything in the Malory Towers books is that towards the end of the book, there is a fire at St Clare’s in the hospital section. Its hard to explain it all without giving it away, but lets just say everything sorts itself out.
Now I think I might have to end here, because I really don’t want to say too much and give it all away by explaining everything. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of this book, the twins that give it the title hardly feature. I think it would have been better to have called the series something like “The Girls of St Clare’s” because then it doesn’t matter so much if things don’t always happen to the twins.
I may read the book again, and see if I enjoyed it more than the first time, but it might not be for some time yet. However if you’re a fan, or have read it and think differently to me, leave a comment below and tell me why!
I look forward to hearing from you!