I have been looking for a particular book for years and years. Some of you may remember that I asked GOers (and Folly readers, and anyone else I could think of!) if they knew of it, or it's author. It was about a girl called Janet, who was taken out of boarding school (sixth form) because her father had had financial problems and was going to work in South America. Janet was sent to the French Alps with her cousin, in order to look after the cousin's little boy. Once there, Janet met two boys, one glamorous and good looking, the other studious and wearing glasses! She made friends with the handsome one, but he dropped her once a pretty blonde came on the scene (as Janet was plump, and hated being so - one of the first books I know of where there is a girl with a weight problem! Most other plump girls in GO books seem happy to be fat and jolly types), Janet and the other boy become friends, Janet loses some weight owing to illness, etc..... I bought the book from a jumble sale at school many years ago and it was thrown away by my mother and I've been searching for it ever since. Someone suggested it might be Mabel Esther Allan, but it wasn't, and as I didn't know the author or title I thought it was never come my way again, in spite of trawling through book catalogues and looking at everything with the title 'Janet' or 'Alps' in it!

Today I was out shopping and went into the charity shop I often visit. I thought I wouldn't bother looking at the few 'old' books they have, as they are usually the same every time - they don't sell many as they're rather overpriced. However, as I left the shop I looked at the shelf, and scanned through two Sunday School prize books of the type we've been discussing recently. There was one more I hadn't seen before, and as it's title was faded I took it off the shelf and looked at the first page - and, lo and behold, it was the book I've been searching for for 30 or more years! How's that for serendipity!

The title of the book is 'Ups and Downs' (so looking for 'Janet' I would never have found it), and the author is someone called Violet Bradby. She is not listed in The Book, nor anywhere else as far as I can ascertain, although she wrote - according the the list in the book I found, about a dozen other books, including 'The Capel Cousins' (1912), 'Judy and the Other' (1916), 'Managing Jane' (1927). 'Ups and Downs' was published by Oxford University Press in 1930. Do any other GOers know anything about this author? I'd be interested to find out more about her, and I shall now look out for her other titles.

Sorry to rave on like this, but it is such a good feeling to have found this book by accident, it almost makes up for my being 60 next week (I said 'almost'!).


Christine Ward Stilton Cambridgeshire

"We build our own ladders to climb to the sky." (Ella Wheeler Wilcox)

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