The Enid Blyton Society
The O' Sullivan Twins
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Book Details...

First edition: 1942
Publisher: Methuen
Illustrator: W. Lindsay Cable
Category: St Clare's
Genre: School
Type: Novels/Novelettes

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Reviews by Terry Gustafson and Jo Chambers
Further Illustrations

Terry Gustafson's Review

This is No.2 in the series and introduces a very striking girl — Alison, who is a cousin of the twins. The Enid Blyton technique demanded that a little new blood was required from time to time and this move helped to add even more interest to the plots. We like to meet new girls and sum them up so that we can place them into the pecking order and this term there are two others apart from Alison — namely Lucy Oriell who is a girl that any school would be proud to possess, and Margery Fenworthy who seems almost the complete opposite.

Margery causes what becomes known as The Big Row. This is a flare-up in the classroom between her and the rather popular class-mistress and it leads to a shunning of the girl so intense that, one and all, they refuse to cheer her when she practically wins a lacrosse match by herself. Poor Margery! The obligatory midnight feast is held early on and an extremely nasty pupil tries to spoil it for the few girls who are invited.

It's not all honey for Alison as she settles in. Like her cousins a term or so ago, she has little knowledge of just what to do when fagging for her Superiors and she's also pretty hopeless at games which is a severe handicap when one attends a college such as St. Clare's.

Erica, the girl who tried to spoil the midnight feast, goes from bad to worse and shocks us all with her venomous attitude. Margery, whose problems stem from the home environment and from what appears to be a wicked stepmother, becomes a heroine when she rescues a girl from a raging fire. It is doubtful if anyone else could have performed the feat which entailed getting up to the sanatorium from outside with a good section of the inside including the stairs ablaze. Margery excelled at gym work and she could climb with a skill that almost approached that which was displayed by the gypsy girl, Jo — one of the stars who graced the Kirrin books. All is forgiven. Margery is absorbed into the bosoms of her fellow class-mates and things are sorted out on the family side. Did you know that her father climbed Mount Everest? Margery reveals this to Lucy and Pat. She doesn't confirm whether he got to the top or not, but obviously she inherited some of his expertise. She attaches herself to lovely Lucy when that girl learns her own father has been in a motor accident and won't be able to carry on his normal work. A bond is created between them and soon they would disappear into an upper form.

The term ends but not before a battle occurs between Janet and Mam'zelle. Janet uses her talent for tricks to "Get Back" at the French mistress whom she decides is picking on her. She Gets Back all right but with rather severe repercussions. Not to worry. That's all taken care of and Janet's subsequent interview with Mam'zelle is quite poignant. The last day comes as it always does and there's the usual happy hour or so of pandemonium as girls rush around saying Goodbye to their friends, collecting names and addresses, laughing and joking and kidding each other and the mistresses as well in the long held tradition of the Blyton school stories.
Moose's Review

The O'Sullivan twins return for their second term at St Clare's determined to work hard and do well. Most of their old friends are back again and there are new girls to size up. Among these are the twins' feathered headed cousin, Alison, the talented and friendly Lucy Oriel, and the surly and bad tempered Margery Fenworthy.

The twins are now firm friends with most of their form and form friendships with some of the second form also. As a result of this they are invited to a midnight feast with some members of the second form to celebrate the birthday of Tessie, a second form girl. Erica, an unpopular second former, resolves to disrupt the party after hearing herself discussed in unflattering terms when the others assume that she is not within earshot. The girls vote to ignore Erica after learning that she is the one who gave them away to Mam'zelle, causing Erica to vow revenge on Pat. She begins a campaign of spiteful tricks against Pat which are assumed to be perpetrated by Margery. When the twins and their cousin accidentally find out that Margery has a history of being expelled from schools and is 16 years old, Alison tells the other girls and Margery becomes an outcast among them. A row in the history class cements Margery's position as a pariah.

Events come to a head when Erica is taken to the san, which catches fire one night. At great risk to herself, Margery saves her, causing the usually selfish Erica to have an attack of conscience. She confesses to Lucy Oriell that she was the one who was playing tricks on Pat. Erica leaves the school unable to face the girls' anger, but Margery returns to class a hero and establishes a firm friendship with Lucy. Given a second chance, she shines at sport and moves to the head of her form in class work. As usual, the form ends on a sanguine note, with all the girls friends and all difficulties smoothed away. These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.