[identity profile] tobimkcb.livejournal.com

I've often wondered whether or what Rowan gets paid for her toil on the farm. When she first takes over, Mr Tranter is still Farm Manager and she doesn't really have a defined role. Captain Marlow is still the boss (when Karen wants Mrs Tranter to move out of the farmhouse in RAH, Rowan reminds her that it is only their father who can give the Tranters notice) so I hope he's set up some kind of salary for her, though if the impecunious Pam is reduced to selling the Last Ditch (in Peter's Room) to pay for Chocbar and just over a term later they can't afford the school fees for all 4 girls at Kingscote, I wonder what their finances are like. Maybe Rowan just gets pocket money, which is another reason her social life is so poor.
[identity profile] antfan.livejournal.com

This kind of follows along from the last discussion, but I thought I would give it a new thread.  It’s basically that I just can’t get along with Falconer’s Lure.  I fell joyfully on my GGB copy, having not read it for decades, only to find it a crushing disappointment.  (And Marlows and the Traitor, too, sad to say.)


It feels so dated. The characters seem much less complex than in later books (for the first time I understand why people find Nicola annoying) and the style doesn’t seem so assured.  It’s a much more conventional family story than the other holiday books: dad makes the decisions – nobody really questions his authority – mum is gently supportive -  the only character who really steps out of line (Ginty) is shown the error of her ways.


In terms of her writing craft, AF doesn’t seem to handle her material well: a key theme is Jon’s death and the family’s reactions, yet we hardly get to know Jon; all the Unity Logan discussion seems a bit pointless when we never encounter her (and I just can’t imagine the adults being that interested in a totally unknown adolescent); in the scene in the attic, there are no less than three big chunks of poetry read/sung aloud to intense reactions from the audience – over-egging it surely?   (And so many blooming competitions: diving, sailing, swimming, reciting, singing, gymkhana…) Its structure is a bit of a mess, and usually that is something AF does so well.  


Above all, there are no really magnificent, memorable passages, like, say, the hunt in Peter’s Room.  (Here I don’t think AF did herself a favour picking falconry.  “It was quite impossible to make them understand why the flight at gull had been so thrilling” – quite. )


So I’m wondering:


i)                    Is Falconer’s Lure irredeemably “dated”?

ii)                   Or do AF’s books simply need to be read several times?  Will I eventually come to appreciate FL? 

iii)                 Or does AF’s writing simply get better as she grows into her style/gets to know her characters?  Are the middle books just better than the earlier ones?

[identity profile] alliekiwi.livejournal.com
I was vaguely thinking about the Marlows and their naval heritage this morning, and what other relatives Nicola et al might have had in the navy. So I went and had a look at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site to see what UK Marlows had died in WW2 in service with the navy.

Having a look at the list of names, it made me wonder... do we know if Captain Marlow was an only child? I was wondering if there could have been other members of the family who helped inspire Nicola's love for the service - even if we haven't heard of them previously. *grin*

It might be fun to write a story about Nicola remembering 'Aunt Iris' for example:

Initials: I
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Chief Wren
Regiment/Service: Women's Royal Naval Service
Age: 38
Date of Death: 08/02/1942
Service No: 1250

Or 'Cousin Ronald':

Initials: R J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Ordinary Seaman
Regiment/Service: Royal Navy
Unit Text: H.M.S. Wellesley
Age: 19
Date of Death: 16/01/1942
Service No: P/JX 311610

*wanders off with head in the clouds of possibilities*
[identity profile] tabouli.livejournal.com
Reading through people's comments on the last post, I found myself musing on the fathers depicted in the Marlow series. Even though none of them play a major role, there's quite a range.

The omniabsent Commander Marlow seems the kind of father who sees putting an expensively framed cabinet portrait of the family in his room as a substitute for taking leave to see them (see also Nicola's preference for a photo of Giles' ship and Nelson over photos of her family members?), but otherwise appears a friendly, no-nonsense sort of fellow. You have to smile at his pragmatic military preference for Nicola's crew cut in Falconer's Lure.

Arguably the most negative depiction of a father in the series is Mr Hopkins. When Berenice proclaims Meg's tormented family life to the masses, Meg shifts from being a workaholic nonentity to a disturbing reflection of her father's abuse, reinforced by his brief, dour cameo near the end of The Cricket Term (in which Forest hints that he also abuses his wife). On the subject of pastoral care at Kingscote, it's faintly reassuring that the school did attempt to intervene on Meg's behalf, even though it didn't succeed.

Mr West is warm and engaging; Mr Merrick is wry and genial, and seems to have a pretty healthy relationship with his son, where Patrick respects the boundaries he sets and wants his approval without fearing him. Our fleeting glimpse of Mr Todd suggests to me a conservative pillar of community type who indulges and secretly enjoys the eccentricities of his wife. Then, of course, there's Edwin, who is the only father whose parenting we see centre stage in the series.

There was a very interesting discussion of Edwin on Girl's Own in 1998 or so, which revealed a divide among Forest fans. Some would have happily had him locked up for the riding crop scene; others agreed that this was appalling behaviour, but allowed him more leeway. He is certainly a stern and authoritarian parent, though when he see him he is under a lot of stress and seems used to being the disciplinarian half of the parental team: see Rose's appeal to Mrs Marlow when he pushes her to stop reading and go outside. I'm not sure what I think of him as a parent, but he's certainly an interesting and complex character.

What do other people think about Edwin, and Forest fathers in general?


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