Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
on 18 April 2010
Like another reviewer I ordered this book on the strength of a good review in the Times - I thought my daughter (10) who loves Enid Blyton and Cathy Cassidy would really enjoy it. She did, and so did I. Many older readers will be reminded of earlier novels such as `Tom's Midnight Garden' and `Charlotte Sometimes' but `Beswitched' is really excellent in its own right. It's absorbing, funny, charming and genuinely moving. The period detail seemed authentic - like other reviewers I was reminded of earlier stories, in particular the Chalet School series and also the Dimsie books - and the whole thing was so confident and assured that the odd possible inauthenticity simply didn't matter. Saunders' depiction of a Noughties girl in a 1930s school is quite subtle. Flora finds some things hard but excels at others. Sometimes she chafes at the constrictions but is also aware of unexpected freedoms. The 1930s girls don't have the career opportunities of their modern counterparts - but they are a good deal less, well, `girly' than most girls of my daughter's age.
I do hope Kate Saunders is planning another novel in which we learn exactly how the 1930s Flora coped in her progressive modern boarding school while her counterpart was coming to term with life at St Winifred's.