Quoting Marcia McGinley <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:

> I haven't read Wintle's Wonders since I first read it as a child. I love 
> Noel Streatfeild but even when I'm have an NS binge I get to Wintle's 
> Wonders and think oh no, that's the one with the awful bit about the 
> birthday chair.  I have almost no recollection of the story but there must 
> have been something that upset me when I was young.  I had the same  sort of
> reaction to Autumn Term for years until all the discussion on Girls Own 
> about AF got me to give her another try.  I think it's odd that I can almost
> totally forget a story and yet still remember that I found it distressing in
> some way.

I only read Wintle's Wonders as an adult and liked it up until the last chapter 
when Rachel suddenly becomes a fabulous dramatic actress. Which I hated because 
it seemed as if NS had spent the whole book saying that artistic talent wasn't 
everything and there were many different sorts of achievement (and kudos to her 
for letting Hilary do musical comedy. I'm sure Lorna Hill would have been 
horrified) and then in the last chapter she says that really Rachel has the 
most important talent of all. I wanted her to be like Petrova or Myra and good 
at something else or just be a nice person with no particular talents. But if 
I'd been a child, maybe I would have gone with the fantasy more. Liekwise I 
enjoyed When the Siren Wailed as a child (the cliches about evacuees weren't 
cliches to me and I didn't notice any snobbery, just an interesting account of 
a situation I had only come across in the tv Carrie's War but much more grim). 
But people who read it as an adult seem to hate it. 

On another note, what did NS have against the name Dulcie ?. As well as the WW 
one, there are 2 villainous Dulcies in Susan Scarlett novels (Babbacombes and 
Poppies for England. But there might be more in ones I haven't read). 
Presumably it is meant to sound cheap and vulgar (did it suddenly become 
popular in the 1930s ?) but it's an odd repetition because she's usually quite 
scrupulous about not repeating names.

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