Sunday, December 14, 2014
The Temple Stage School in the 1960s supplied many of the West End theatres with child actors. The school is known as Freddie's, named after the woman who ran the school - Miss Freida Wentworth. This short novel by Penelope Fitzgerald is about the management / mismanagement of the school, about the lives of the two teachers who join the staff, about Freddie and her attempts to manipulate her contacts to keep the school afloat in a changing and challenging environment and particularly about a small selection of the children attending the school - especially Mattie and Jonathan. The book is largely about the end of an era and what can be salvaged. The many story lines are intertwined and following what is going on is not always easy, though the night after I finished reading the book I found that I was still thinking about parts of the book, particularly an outcome for Jonathan.