One thought on “Seven Scamps”

  1. This is such a delightfully weird book. I'm aware that's a label that can be applied to much of Brent-Dyer's work for me, but here it feels particularly pertinent. The Seven Scamps are actually a bunch of brats, abandoned by their restless father who goes off abroad, picks himself up a new wife with a daughter of her own, and then pops back. There's some mad oddness here, with the father being attracted to his new wife and her daughter because of the daughter's blonde plaits, a theme that carrie [...]

  2. I liked the first half of this - which is full of some of my favourite EBDisms - but then it slowed down in the second half and I found it a bit of a trudge to get to the end - possibly not helped by the fact that I hadn't read any of the other La Rochelle books.Glad I read it though.

  3. If you are only ever going to read one EBD - just to see what her fans are on about - then do make it this one, because Seven Scamps contains all the EBD essentials (starred below). And because of this it is completely, utterly, and above all enjoyably, bonkers.(view spoiler)[The scamps of the title are the children of wealthy* Sir* Piers Willoughby, who goes off on Expeditions* abroad. While he is away the motherless* crew run rings around the team of devoted* servants who are supposed to be lo [...]

  4. One senses that EBD wanted to experiment here with writing Really Bad Children in a way that she knew would not be acceptable in any kind of school environment, and she probably enjoyed it very much at the same time. This is very unlike a lot of her work in tone, although there are some common threads such as parent-child relationships and recovering from a severe illness. Tellingly, though, the subject of religion receives two interesting mentions, first on the day when first Tim and then Sanch [...]

  5. Classic Brent-Dyer. All the people in the middle get a bit confusing if you’ve not read the earlier books in the series though.

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