In this 8th book about the Marlow Family Nicola and Lawrie return to Kingscote for the summer term of their second year and Nicola becomes Lower IVA’s Games Captain. A series of inter-form cricket matches lies ahead and Nicola, taking a hint from her elder sister Rowan, has her team out practising at every conceivable opportunity. Such perserverance has its effect and the Cup, always regarded as unattainable by a junior form, begins to look like a possibility. Meanwhile, the production of The Tempest is taking shape, though Lawrie, with characteristic perversity, longs to play Caliban instead of Ariel.
As in her other school stories, Antonia Forest makes something extraordinarily compelling and convincing out of the small, enclosed world of the boarding school. Many of the incidents are those of any school story – the matches, the exams, the school play – but they reveal so much of the essential truth about the characters that when the author needs to move into deeper waters she can do so with complete honestly and no sense of strain.
Sue Sims has written the introduction.