Genres: classics, childrens, school
Release Date: 1946
Find The Author: Website
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Scared and excited, Darrell Rivers has just arrived at Malory Towers. It's fantastic - but huge. How is she going to remember everyone's name, let alone find her way around? And will she ever have a special friend of her own?
Like most readers, I first read Enid Blyton's books as a child, and loved them dearly. I can't begin to guess at how many reads by beloved battered copy of The Faraway Tree went through, and I also love The Wishing Chair and many of her other books. However, I never read The Famous Five, St Clare's or Malory Towers, choosing to stick with more fantastical stories.
Of course, reading the first Malory Towers book now, not only as a much older person (not that old, I'm still in my 20s!), I do see the book much differently than I would have before. It's a great story, giving us a glimpse into life in a boarding school, and all the antics that girls might get up to in there. I did however, notice that the writing in this felt rushed, and I often thought back to Enid's autobiography, where it was mentioned that she was known for writing a book a day.
The first book in the Malory Towers series focuses on Darrell, a new student with an admittedly uninteresting background. All the interesting gossip seems to have been given to her classmates! Darrell is, of course, excited about her new school and all the adventures she might have there. Malory Towers quickly leaves a big impression on her and she's determined to do her very best, if she can control her temper - something I can really relate to!
The story makes for compulsive reading, despite it being aimed at younger readers I think many older readers would have had the same problem! Even as I finished a chapter I wanted to know what would happen next - more pranks, new secrets revealed? - and when I had finished it I had to stop myself running over to my bookcase and grabbing the next book.