Sunday, June 14, 2015

Cherry Ames Companion Nurse and Jungle Nurse

In Cherry Ames #24, Cherry Ames, Companion Nurse, Cherry travels to the United Kingdom as the nurse of a famous author, Martha Logan.  Martha plans to tour several museums and exhibits in her research for her latest book.  Valuable artwork is stolen, and Cherry begins to suspect one of their new acquaintances.

This book is a travelogue that features an art heist.  This tired-out plot has been used in so many different series books.  During my reading of the Cherry Ames series, I detected a shift in the books beginning with this title.  This book reads like a generic travelogue 1960s Grosset and Dunlap book that is not as good as earlier books.  The book is similar to Ken Holt #18, The Mystery of the Sultan's Scimitar.  The story also reminds me of a good many of the Nancy Drew books from #41 and up and of the higher-numbered Judy Bolton books.  In short, Cherry Ames, Companion Nurse is missing something, just like most of the other books I just mentioned.

In Cherry Ames #25, Cherry Ames, Jungle Nurse, Cherry travels to Kenya to work as a nurse in a remote village.  And she does some nursing stuff and then discovers that diamonds are being smuggled out of the hospital.  What an original plot!

This book starts out as a blatant travelogue.  It's sad how the Grosset and Dunlap books switched to travelogues in the 1960s.  It's not just one series but all of them!  Unfortunately, that makes most of the books rather boring in comparison to the earlier books from all of the series.

The book gets a little bit better once Cherry arrives in Africa, but I still found the text to be flat and uninteresting.  I didn't care about or even like most of the characters. 

On pages 22 and 33, the word "swarthy" is used to describe somebody.  "Swarthy" is used commonly in Grosset and Dunlap books, but I have not seen it in the Cherry Ames books.  Did Wells write this book, or did someone else?

In the 1980s, it was learned that Vicki Barr #16, The Mystery of the Brass Idol, was written by Walter B. Gibson.  The book is credited to Helen Wells, but a manuscript written by Gibson was found by a collector.  If Wells didn't write the last Vicki Barr book, then a possibility exists that she might not have written all of the final Cherry Ames books.

Assuming that Wells did write this book, I believe that Grosset and Dunlap had a far greater role in determination of content than previously.  It wouldn't surprise me if an editor inserted "swarthy" into the text.  Furthermore, these books fit the cookie-cutter mold of all the other Grosset and Dunlap books of the 1960s.

On page 84, Cherry shows the villagers how to plant flowers, like they have no idea how to plant anything.  I find it a strange assumption that no one in Kenya would know how to plant flowers.  Also, wouldn't vegetables be more helpful than flowers?  It seems silly.

I found this book rather boring.  The villains are obvious, and it doesn't take the reader long at all to figure out how they are smuggling diamonds out of the area.  This book has no suspense at all.  I skimmed a lot of the book.

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