I dislike stories where exceptional talent suddenly
breaks out (like Joey Bettany.  Writing is very much a
sideline, to be done occasionally, until she leaves
school.  Certainly not "the breath of life" to her!). 
But Rachel *doesn't* suddenly develop acting talent. 
Remember in the play (Wind in the Willows) in
Folkestone, where she was Ratty, but Hilary was only a
Wild Wood-er?  The teachers there must have seen
talent in her then.
   I suspect that she was excellent in the play at the
end because she felt at home in the part.  A sequel to
Wintle's Wonders might have shown Rachel having less
success in other roles, because they didn't suit her
as well.  
   This isn't meant to be argumentative, Nicky - it's
just that I've been re-reading the book, and I noticed
the early evidence of her talent.

--- nicky smith <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> 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. 
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