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Gay Lambert at the Chalet School (The Chalet School #18)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  144 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Gay Lambert is an impetuous, warm-hearted senior at the Chalet School who quickly takes sad shy Jacynth Hardy under her wing. But the summer term proves to be a difficult one for Gay and her friends when a dreadful accident causes a new headmistress to be appointed.

Authoritarian Miss Bubb has very different views on how a school should be run and soon there is wide discont
Paperback, 176 pages
Published February 9th 1989 by Armada (first published 1944)
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Often, books that take your fancy as a child remain favourites well into adulthood - even when read with a far more cynical pair of grown-up eyes. That's why Gay From China At The Chalet School comes as such a pleasant surprise. It's one of the few earlier Chalet School books I didn't read as a child, mainly because it was so rare as a paperback (much less a hardback). So it emphatically doesn't enjoy that 'childhood favourite' rose-glow of nostalgia. And yet, it's one of the strongest entries i ...more
LH Johnson
It's interesting to compare and contrast parts of this book with the much later A Genius at the Chalet School. Both books feature a genius, or highly talented individual, and yet both books treat their characters distinctly differently. It's as if, at points, they're written by different authors. I discuss the representation of genius in the Chalet School here and can never quite get over the short shrift given to Jacynth in her (not even titular) book.

Jacynth, poor sad, sweet, Jacynth Hardy is
So, so much better in the original hardback edition! This is probably my favourite of the wartime Chalet School books, and introduces some fantastic characters: Gay herself, Jacynth Hardy, Grandma and, of course, the villainous Miss Bubb, who I actually feel quite sorry for on re-reading. Her motives aren't all bad, and she does at least soften slightly during her last conversation with Madge. The hardback edition (Gay from China at the Chalet School) includes some lovely little details that wer ...more
Read the unabridged Chambers hardback edition, "Gay from China at the Chalet School".

"Gay", short for Gabrielle, is definitely one of the better books in the Chalet School series. There's little of the casual prejudice of the time that can often be found in the others, despite a large part of the story being given over to wealthy young Gay Lambert's friendship with an orphaned and very much poorer Jacynth Hardy.

(Those who have read further in this series may recognise the two names amalgamated
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Celia Powell
Jacynth is the new pupil for this term, and she meets Gay Lambert on the train to school. They arrive to discover things have changed - due to an accident, several mistresses (including headmistress Annersley) are in hospital, and there is a replacement headmistress, Miss Bubb.

Naturally, Miss Bubb does not understand the Chalet School ways (giving the girls freedom in their spare time, encouraging lots of games and outdoor activities), and goes around imposing her will on everyone and making ene
Mhairi Gowans
Review of the 1955 unabridged version:

This is a brilliant chalet book. Loved to hate Miss Bubb so much. I haven't read about anyone so hateful in fiction since Dolores Umbridge! However the book has many sad overtones, with the stories of new girl Jacynth and the return of Tirol mistress, Miss Durrant.
Jacynth Hardy is sent to the Chalet School by her auntie, and her aim is to win one of the scholarships. She meets Gay on the way to school, and they soon become fast friends.

Miss Annersley and a few others were involved in a car accident just before term began, and Miss Bubb has been hired as temporary head. She creates havoc in the school, changing many things, and the term is topped off by Gay running away from school to get back to her family.
Also known as 'Gay from China at the Chalet School'. My copy is a hardback of this name.

Jacynth befriends Gay Lambert, partly through their shared love of music. Meanwhile the Chalet School has a huge problem and has to employ temporary staff, including the appalling Miss Bubb. Very moving in places, lots of interest - not run-of-the-mill as some of the later Chalet School books are.
Donna Boultwood
Hilarious read, and great character Miss Bubb. I think it would've been fun if they'd kept her a bit longer. Loved the new shop owner Mrs learoyd too. Feel sad for anyone who goes to the school with an ailing relative though. They always die! Perhaps that says more about medicine at that time...
Evil temporary headmistress: not my favourite genre. And I don't really see eye to eye with Brent-Dyer re what is or isn't a genius, and how to care for one. But still, it's a Chalet School book. If you like them, you'll like it. Just maybe not *best*.
Loved Gay and Jacynth. And ooh, hated the dreadful Miss Bubb! She made for good reading of course, but thank god she didn't get to stick around too long!
This is one I'll have to re-read, because I don't remember the plot!
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Elinor M. Brent-Dyer was born as Gladys Eleanor May Dyer on 6th April 1894, in South Shields in the industrial northeast of England, and grew up in a terraced house which had no garden or inside toilet. She was the only daughter of Eleanor Watson Rutherford and Charles Morris Brent Dyer. Her father, who had been married before, left home when she was three years old. In 1912, her brother Henzell d ...more
More about Elinor M. Brent-Dyer...

Other Books in the Series

The Chalet School (1 - 10 of 58 books)
  • The School at the Chalet (The Chalet School, #1)
  • Jo of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #2)
  • The Princess of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #3)
  • The Head Girl of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #4)
  • Rivals of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #5)
  • Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #6)
  • The Chalet School and Jo (The Chalet School, #7)
  • The Chalet Girls in Camp (The Chalet School, #8)
  • Exploits of the Chalet Girls (The Chalet School, #9)
  • The Chalet School and the Lintons (The Chalet School, #10)
The School at the Chalet (The Chalet School, #1) Jo of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #2) The Chalet School and Jo (The Chalet School, #7) The Princess of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #3) The Head Girl of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #4)

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