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Boy Trouble at Trebizon by Anne Digby: John C Adams Reviews

Book name: Boy Trouble at Trebizon

Author: Anne Digby

Publisher: Armada

Format: Print, ebook

Genre: Children’s

Publication Date: 1980

Star Rating: 5/5

Anne Digby’s much-loved 'Trebizon' series of boarding school stories continues with Boy Trouble at Trebizon, the fourth book in the series.

Rebecca and her friends are now in the third year, and Rebecca’s interest in tennis is blossoming into real talent.

Boy Trouble at Trebizon starts with Rebecca’s bold declaration that she isn’t interested in boys. It’s September and the start of a new school year.

She’s focusing on her tennis and that means long practice sessions and regular trips to county tournaments and for training with the local coach, David Driscoll, who is eighteen.

Rebecca’s determination to succeed through hard work is contrasted favourably with Virginia Slade, who is a few years older and can think of nothing but boys.

Virginia’s habit of taking up a boy for a moment and then dropping him without warning a few weeks later causes tensions between David and Tish’s brother Robbie. At this point in the series, the young women are thinking of their sports and musical interests and the boys they know socially are either from nearby boys’ school Garth College or the brothers of their friends (in some cases, both).

Virginia’s self-absorbed behaviour and glamorous attractions ruin the Hallowe’en dance for Rebecca and trigger the serious situation that forms the central plot: Robbie being unjustly accused of stealing a car belonging to Virginia’s father.

Anne Digby presents Rebecca as precisely the sensible, loyal, decent girl any boy would be lucky to have as a friend. This is gently done through Rebecca’s friendship with Tish, which introduces her to Robbie at the beginning of the book.

She isn’t aware of her warm feelings for him or what they mean, but the reader can guess through subtle hints. It’s all as innocent as it should be, and the writing is more powerful because of it.

Rebecca isn’t jealous of Robbie’s infatuation with Virginia, and she has no trouble shaking of David’s interest in her, saying that going to the dance with the eighteen-year-old would be like going with a teacher. It’s Mara who points out that Robbie is interested in Virginia, who prefers David, who in turn likes Rebecca; the whole square is completed when Mara gently tells Rebecca that she likes Robbie. I think Mara is right, but Rebecca’s feelings for Robbie are not overtly romantic at this stage.

Their relationship, of course, develops over the subsequent books in the Trebizon series. For the moment, their strength together lies in Rebecca’s ability to keep his secret and her determination to help clear his name after he is wrongly accused of stealing Mr Slade’s car.

One of the things I like most about Anne Digby’s 'Trebizon' books is just how different each narrative is. The same core characters, the same location and interests; yet somehow in each book a different element of their lives is brought forward and takes centre stage. The other strength, for me, is that the young women develop naturally in their interests, their friendships with boys and each other, and in their place at Trebizon as the series unfolds.

Thank you for reading my review.

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John C Adams Reviews Boy Trouble at Trebizon

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