Sunday, 10 June 2012

Introducing Lintie Oliver

(Front cover - has a well-read, vintage look to it).

Clare Mallory’s stand-along novel The Two Linties was first published in 1950 and was never reprinted. Popular with readers who remember it from their childhoods, it demands a high price from book dealers. My reprint of The Two Linties is due to arrive next week and I’m excited and nervous about it all. Advance sales have been fantastic, so next week will be spent printing postage and dropping padded envelopes off at the Post Office. Sales so far show Lintie to be travelling to new homes in France, Germany, Austria, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and America. I suspect she’d like that – she is always keen to try something new and modern air travel would delight her.

Many readers know Clare Mallory for her Merry trilogy, but Lintie isn’t a boarding school girl with a large circle of friends and supportive family. She’s an orphan, with no memory of her parents, living in a poor orphanage with just enough money to feed and clothe the children, but precious little time for love or treating the girls as individuals.

It’s taken me two paragraphs to introduce Lintie, also known as Lynette Hope or Lynette Hope Oliver. She’s an ambitious orphan in the Anne Shirley mould, keen for new experiences and to finish her education at University, rather than leave school at fourteen. She’s a live-wire, revelling in new experiences (cinema, ice-skating, and writing for the local newspaper’s children’s page) as well as being skilled at bending the orphanage rules until they snap. She’s a slim, potentially elegant young girl full of potential. A pair of dark plaits, a broad smile and considerable enthusiasm carries her through life as a young writer.

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