Penname: Blueskye [Contact] Real name: Cathy
Member Since: 24 Jan 2016
Membership status: Member
Bio:

Location: Surrey


First came across CS books in my local public library - age 9 or thereabouts


Best books - Chalet girls in camp - Exile - plus all of the Island ones.


Only book I didn't buy myself: Rivals (my mum bought it for me - I was 11 - quite unexpected - spot on wasn't she? x)


"A ship is safe in harbour, but that is not what ships are for"  - William Shedd


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Reviews by Blueskye
Summary: After a long gap, read on to find out more about Hilda (and Nell!), of Mother Abbess and her brother Ian, of Matey and Nancy, of Ellie and Meg….

Can Hilda and Ellie now find some peace after the turmoil and heartache of the first three weeks of the spring term?
Categories: Ste Therese's House
Characters: Hilda Annersley, Kathie Ferrars, Matron Lloyd, Nancy Wilmot, Nell Wilson
School Period: Switzerland
School Name: Chalet School
Genre: Drama, Family, Friendship, Humour, School Story
Series: A New Dream
Chapters: 101 Table of Contents
Completed: No Word count: 327306 Read Count: 144909
[Report This] Published: 28 Feb 2013 Updated: 23 Sep 2016
Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 01 Mar 2016 Title: Chapter 38: Chapter - Broken

Just love this chapter - and the broken plaque is just perfect ... (*winks) It reminds me of Leonard Cohen's 'Anthem' 

"Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That's how the light gets in"

And the Japanese Kintsugi Art - broken pottery put together with gold or coloured joinery - so the cracks are an integral part and enhance the beauty of the original...hmm... does God see our scars as beautiful...if they are how we learn to walk in the light...

Thank you, Mary

 

 

 

 



Author's Response: Oh, Blueskye, how sweet of you to post on a back chapter. Of course God sees our scars as beautiful. If we had no scars, it would mean we hadn't dared to live, and He demands that we do so. I don't know the Japanese art you mention, but it sounds beautiful. Perhaps Sister Patricia knew of it. *grins* As to the light getting in the crack, there is a book by Louise Penny titled How the Light Gets In taken from L Cohen's Anthem. It's one of a series of books set in Canada

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 07 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 99: Chapter 99 - Important Message

Fabulous! Looking forward to reading these chapters again :-D... Thank you, Mary,... "You are allowed to scream, you are allowed to cry, but do not give up"... *ducks*



Author's Response: I've given up screaming, I've given up weeping, but have NOt give up posting. *pokes tongue out at Blueskye, who knows me too well* First chapter now done and dusted. Thanks for encouraging me here.

Summary: The secret life of Rosalie Dene.
Categories: Ste Therese's House
Characters: Rosalie Dene
School Period: Switzerland
School Name: Chalet School
Genre: Mystery
Series: Agent Rosalie
Chapters: 15 Table of Contents
Completed: Yes Word count: 20748 Read Count: 19713
[Report This] Published: 04 Nov 2014 Updated: 26 Oct 2017
Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 16 Sep 2017 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter 3

Really enjoying this ..."good at her job, quiet, the last person you noticed in the room"  Go Rosalie! Thanks Shesings



Author's Response: Thank you, Blueskye!

Summary: I've changed the title of this volume, as I've decided to keep it short and only include the events of the weekend and early Monday morning, which you already know and in which there are precious few blessings. I'll then start a fresh volume when I get to Hilda's dream, after which the rough seas calm down a little, hopefully, and I'll be posting new, unread chapters. Thank you for your patience with this re-post.
Categories: Ste Therese's House
Characters: Hilda Annersley, Jack Maynard, Kathie Ferrars, Madge (Bettany) Russell, Matron Lloyd, Nancy Wilmot, Nell Wilson, Rosalie Dene
School Period: Switzerland
School Name: Chalet School
Genre: Drama, Family, Friendship, Humour, School Story
Series: A New Dream
Chapters: 29 Table of Contents
Completed: Yes Word count: 185083 Read Count: 28615
[Report This] Published: 07 Aug 2016 Updated: 18 Sep 2016
Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 08 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 1: Chapter 1 - A Thread of Grace

Well…arsonistic Helen aside, the overwhelming impression from this chapter is what a force to be reckoned with Hilda is, and we are so spoilt for choice when it comes to picking out examples. My favourite is …”This was Hilda at her best! She might not have much iron in her blood, but she had plenty in her soul! ….Jack wondered what had happened to that frightening woman with the soft, icy tongue who had controlled the whole room with ease. She was all compassion and gentleness now, comforting Jeanne…”  How versatile she is and quick to empathise and respond to others.

 

Liking Jack much more here; rather less of the dictatorial male doctor and rather more humility …  “Today’s been a spellbinding lesson in leadership, your sort of leadership, and I’ve learned a very great deal. You’re one impressive lady!” …Thank you, Mary.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 08 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 2: Chapter 2 - A Father's Influence

Hilda has all the bases covered hasn’t she? As more ghastliness emerges she remains focused on being one step ahead and anticipating what might happen…and is clear about her main priorities. Love Matey keeping up in the safeguarding stakes… “I’m beginning to think I’m getting too old for this malarkey,” she muttered. “   (*grins*)  And isn’t Jack making good progress now?!  Thank you, Mary

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 10 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 3: Chapter 3 - The Cobwebs of Ignorance

Ugh! What an abhorrent man, and an attitude towards women which is sadly still too prevalent.  Helen is as much a victim herself really.  All credit to Hilda for remaining implacable.

 

"Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear." Wonderful!! Thank you, Mary.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 10 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 4: Chapter 4 - A Twilight Gift Unbidden.

It was all too much for Hilda in the end…” This day, this whole week, had gone on too long and she no longer felt equal to the tasks still ahead of her that evening. “ However, she is still thinking things through and quick to appreciate the input of Jack... “Hilda raised an eyebrow. “You’re even more devious than I am!”

And well done, Matey, quickly up to speed with the safeguarding malarky... “If I were to go with you, wearing my full regalia, it would all seem far more appropriate “ (*grins)

 

And totally in love with Jack now!!!   “It’s also to try and make up a little for the prejudices and idiocies of the male of the species, this male in particular…”  Thank you, Mary.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 11 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 5: Chapter 5 - Wheresoever He May Lead You

Ah! I had forgotten who might be on the other side of the door …but Hilda clearly hadn’t and doesn’t it do her good to have Ellie around despite her weariness?  And she stays in control of everything, mindful of all the detail (too mindful for her own good…) 

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 12 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 6: Chapter 6 - A Time to Speak

I love the way Hilda deals with ‘her girls’ here, taking them from the everyday normality of their activities that day…builds up to breaking the doubly shocking news of bullying and arson…and then shepherds them back to their everyday lives.. rounding off with input from Ian…she is with them every step of the way isn’t she?

And Ian sums it up beautifully “…Miss Annersley has both those graces, as most of us know, for she listens and speaks from her heart, as well as her mind. The many troubles and sorrows of her life have planted in her heart a deep well of kindness and consideration for others. She will never, ever let you down. I know she’s never let me down.”

 

Thank you, Mary



Author's Response: No! Thank you, Blueskye.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 13 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 7: Chapter 7 - Something Brave and Beautiful

Kathie so needs a slap here – she’s totally unaware of any needs but her own and behaves appallingly, only stopping when Hilda is flat out on the floor…behaviour diametrically opposed to that of Hilda, who even when she is at “rock bottom” always puts herself last (witness her concern for Nancy and Tonia).  And bless Nancy, who must be falling apart inside, but is rising to the challenges of her new job magnificently. 

And go Jack! (my new hero!) who finally has the measure of how much he should interfere, gives Hilda her head, but knows how he can help by talking to the staff. It must be catching as Ian is in fine form too and outfaces Kathie wonderfully …”You were the final straw, I’m afraid. After what she’s been through today, her body simply couldn’t handle your aggression. You’ve been promoted to deputy, my dear, and that requires you put others first and yourself last…”

 

Thank you, Mary.



Author's Response: Tut, tut! Physical abuse??? What would Hilda say? *giggles* I like it, but, alas, not allowed.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 14 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 8: Chapter 8 - Never Shirking The Hard Things in Life

How does Hilda do it?…she has the ability to walk in everyone's shoes and  looks after every last one…Nancy, Rosalie & Gill, Matey.  She knows exactly how to respond, what to say, who needs words of comfort and who needs teasing and jollying along a bit.  She handles Rosalie’s anger with Kathie fabulously and always leads by example.  And I love the portrayal of Matey, so astute and she really doesn’t miss a trick!! Thank you, Mary, I am enjoying these re-postings - you are spoiling us (*winks*)



Author's Response: No, it's you who are spoiling me, Blueskye, and giving me second responses to something you've read before. Ar you finding different things in this time round?

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 14 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 9: Chapter 9 - Hilda Speaks From A Full Heart

This is one of my favourite chapters – I just love Hilda’s little family “Such a homely, tranquil scene after the chaos and fears of the day! And yes, on a second reading what jumped out was Hilda’s realisation that this was how it could be …….” In that eye-opening moment, she accepted that something - or someone - was nudging her into a new way of being. Evenings like this could become routine if she were prepared to open her heart even more than she was already doing … Ellie and I need new closeness with others. We need new hopes, new dreams, now our old ways of living have been taken from us.”

And interleaved with this were flashes of humour from Nancy and Matey  “ Nancy rolled her eyes. “Every time I hear that particular note in your voice, I become a naughty schoolgirl again, wondering if my drawers are tidy enough to suit you.” ...Then a wonderful tribute to Nell… “They fell silent, both thinking their own sad thoughts of a courageous, funny, sarcastic, loving, joyful, energetic woman who had meant so much to so many. There had never been anyone like her and never would be again, but she would live on in the memories of hundreds of girls who had learned a great deal from her, including how to live generous, fulfilled lives. “ Layered up again with the image of Hilda loading Nancy up with festive nightwear… “Your feet!”  “My feet?”  “Finally, triumphantly, she held up two pairs of thick, gaudy, red socks” …wonderful!

Thank you, Mary



Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 16 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 10: Chapter 10 - A Time to Heal Others

Another fabulous chapter, which illustrates how Hilda “leads with love” and wraps a blanket of that love around everyone.  No detail is too small and she would do anything for them. Little wonder then that Ian describes her as…”gold through and through…pure gold.” And they all (Barbara, Gillian, Tonia, Rosalie, Ian…) would do anything for her too.  Lovely scene with Ian and a big ‘like’ for the Dorothy L. Sayers poem.

 

Thank you, Mary

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 17 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 11: Chapter 11 - With Integrity of Heart

Tough love from Hilda, but she doesn’t forget that Helen is still in her care and is determined that she will eat and be able to sleep during her last night and she doesn’t budge an inch “… The lovely voice was still gentle, but it was remorseless “. She commands respect from everyone there “ …she’s made sure every girl and adult in the school is feeling supported tonight” ”  And she draws people to her, but always points beyond herself to the source of her strength ….” I’m only human, with all a human’s faults and failings...” I want you to grow more like Jesus, and so become your own person” 


Gosh...does she get to sleep now? ;-) Thank you, Mary.


 

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 19 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 12: Chapter 12 - The Sabbath Rang Slowly

Eight hours… Lucky Hilda!  Plenty of trials, temptations and trouble everywhere, but she’s back on her feet. Love the interchange between Hilda and Matey – and Matey “snapping with energy” (just how I imagine *grins*) Thanks, Mary

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 20 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 13: Chapter 13 - A Confused, Contrary Heart..

Oh Kathie...hold on too tightly to those relationships / things you love and you squeeze the very life breath out of them...and as for "just a secretary"...it's a long way back from here...but Hilda finds a way for her.

Thank you, Mary

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 22 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 14: Chapter 14 - Trainee Shepherds

Ian interacts very well with the girls during this service, teasing the answers out of them instead of preaching at them.  I like this take on the Wedding at Cana.  Mary gets the big picture, sees the need, understands the social embarrassment to their hosts and works out the only possible solution!  After years of nurturing, teaching and guiding she knew her son, planted the idea, ignored the tantrum, gave instructions to the servants and waited – perfect!  Definitely an “I can’t, but I know a person who can” moment and played to her strengths.

 

Hilda is so comfortable in her job here isn’t she? It’s all under control and she’s covering all the bases again with Tonia, Barbara, Nancy and Ian. Thank you, Mary.

 



Author's Response: Wow, what a wonderful précis of Mary's actions that day, Blueskye! *Ignored the tantrum*!! Brilliant! Will you write Ian's sermons for me in future? You do the same with Hilda - *so comfortable in her job here.*

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 23 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 15: Chapter 15 - Sweet Encouragement

Bless Helen and Isobel for all their reassurances and friendship towards Hilda.  The visits to the san were rather guilt-inducingly difficult for her, but who wouldn’t like a visit from Hilda and her everlasting bag of goodies? And isn’t she the best at knowing exactly what each one needed even if that does include school books?!  Marianne and her mother were a good note to end on and how rewarding for Hilda and Isobel to see Marianne changing almost before their eyes. 

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 24 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 16: Chapter 16 - A Touch of Rosy Sunset

The depth of Hilda’s grief comes through and the loneliness of her situation as she strives to bear all of the responsibility without Nell.  But so too does the extent of the support of her new friendships…Ian, Helen, Isobel…new people rock up into your life, maybe sharing similar circumstances, life experiences or sense of humour (*grins*) and God dusts off her hands and says “see what I did there?”


Love the George Eliot quote  ‘Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.’ Thank you, Mary.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 27 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 17: Chapter 17 - From Caring Comes Courage

It is interesting to hear the backstory about Helen from Mr Avison. But eww!…the lid is lifted on sewer of domestic abuse and violence and it isn’t pretty. The conversation with MA also lifts the lid on Hilda’s feelings…” Nell still haunted every corner of the schools and, indeed, the whole Platz… I’m just a seething mass of loose ends, and I can’t seem to find a way to join them all altogether again…” and recognition that this chapter of her life is drawing to a close… “She was prepared to give the school one year more than she had promised, bringing her to the age of sixty. But no more! Her heart was no longer in it.”

 

Matey is pretty indefatigable here isn’t she? You really wouldn’t want to be up against her in an argument (although I think I might have suspected that already!)  Let’s hope that Helen gets the help and Gemma the support which they both need, and if Hilda is corresponding with the latter then there is much hope :-) 

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 27 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 18: Chapter 18 - As Iron Is Consumed by Rust

Woah! Kathie is way out of order– this comes across even more on second reading / in this update (*delete as appropriate!) She deserves to be sacked on the spot given her ‘history’. But yes, it is never good to make decisions when angry – and Hilda is furious here… she  “froze Kathie to the spot with a contemptuous look.” Here’s hoping Jeanne doesn’t spare Kathie one jot (wishing I could be a fly on the wall there…!)

 

Thank you, Mary

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 30 Aug 2016 Title: Chapter 19: Chapter 19 - Accountable

“A man wrapped up in himself is a very small package indeed” and that just about sums up Kathie here and it is very transparent to Nancy… “You’re single-handedly ruining your own career… and any feelings I might still have for you.” …and also to Hilda… “Hilda saw to the very heart of things, as always. “ Kathie really can’t stop herself “Just because she’s your ward…” Kathie muttered ...and even in this interview is oblivious to how Ellie and Hilda herself are.  Hilda is more than generous. It will be interesting to see how Kathie copes with MA, should she get that far!

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 03 Sep 2016 Title: Chapter 20: Chapter 20 - The Good Not Done, the Love Not Given.

Oh yay! Back to MA (does Kathie stand much of a chance?)  I think l described Robert Lyall as flabby the first time round and would again, but I defer to “big wet blouse.”!! (*picks self up off floor) In fact he is as bad as his wife in that he does anything for an easy life and is not prepared to put himself out one jot for his only child.

 

I love this line, “I adored that little baby! She was so beautiful, so helpless, so thoroughly captivating,” as it sums up so perfectly why we lose our hearts to tiny babies. I think someone last time surmised a relationship between Miss Cooper and Meg’s mother –or did that emerge later? I Wouldn’t be surprised anyway. Fingers crossed for Meg then, if her father (having made the pivotal decision to leave his wife) actually listens to other people (Hilda, MA and his own father) then there is indeed some hope. Thank you, Mary.



Author's Response: No, that relationship was suggested in the original, Blueskye! All my own invention - or rather MA's! *rolls eyes* It just seemed... logical, given what had gone before. And I, too, am fond of shesings' expression, only I know it as *a big girl's blouse*. Clearly, locality has a lot to do with how it's worded. Thank you.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 06 Sep 2016 Title: Chapter 22: Chapter 22 - Her Father's Hand Holding Her Tight

I wonder if Meg was not ‘planned’ but an ‘accident’ (humanly speaking of course *winks*) there are no siblings. Clearly the marriage is now seen as a convenience by her mother, enabling and funding her social life.  With family life strenuously avoided by her father, poor Meg has been rather stranded in the middle with that dreadful feeling of not being wanted…Gosh MA and Hilda are not sparing him at all…two of a kind! Thank you, Mary.



Author's Response: Oh, I think it was most definitely an accident, Blueskye, since she didn't want children.

Reviewer: Blueskye Signed
Date: 07 Sep 2016 Title: Chapter 23: Chapter 23 - Two Ruptured Souls

I love the way team Hilda is gathering around her here – and Matey, ever-practical, rushing back for the nightwear and washing things keen to be ‘doing’ something, and remembering the all-important extras.  I also like the emerging character of Helen Graves, fast becoming a favourite…and look at Jack continuing to make progress! Thank you, Mary.