Tuesday, April 13, 2010

#102 Mary Anne and the Little Princess

(Still no Dibbly-Fresh....)

Summary

The Kent family has just moved into Kristy's neighborhood. They're from England, and they call the BSC to hire a companion for their 8 year old daughter, Victoria. Mary Anne is the lucky one who gets the gig, but she's pretty nervous. The nanny (she was the one who set up the job) referred to Victoria as a princess, and Mary Anne has never sat for royalty before. On the morning of her first meeting with the Kents, she's more nervous than ever. They send their chauffer over to get her, and he's really nice. The Kent parents are also nice, but formal. Victoria, on the other hand, isn't particularly friendly. She's sort of closed off, and doesn't seem too keen on Americans. The other kids in Stoneybrook don't exactly help things with their awkward questions, and it looks like Victoria won't be making many American friends. Mary Anne starts to wonder exactly what she's gotten herself into...

On Mary Anne's first official day as Victoria's companion (the first meeting was more of an interview), things have changed. All of a sudden, Victoria is enthralled with all things American. She can't believe how many channels she can get on American tv, she's fascinated by Washington Mall, fast food restaurants, and wants nothing more than a trip to New York City. Victoria even records Mary Anne talking so she can listen to it later and try to imitate the accent. Mary Anne starts to understand Victoria a little more. She's only 8, and she's having to deal with a new country, new school, new town, new friends, all without her parents around for support (they travel for work). The whole BSC decides that they should try and make Victoria feel more welcome and included, so they invite her to a football game at SMS. Victoria thinks they're going to a soccer game, and is a little confused when she sees that it's a different game entirely. She doesn't really endear herself to the other kids, though; she only invites BSC members along on her trip to New York City, and makes it clear that she DOESN'T want any kids there.

That Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, George (the limo Driver) picks up Stacey, Kristy, and Mary Anne after their half day at school. They head to NYC, along with Victoria and her nanny, Miss Rutherford. They do some touristy stuff, and are supposed to meet the Kent parents for dinner. At least, that's what Victoria thinks. When she finds out that they won't be joining the group because of work stuff, she's awfully disappointed. Mary Anne even catches her crying. The next day, Victoria is still in a bad mood. The Schafers/Spiers have invited her, along with George the chauffer and Miss Rutherford, for Thanksgiving dinner. Victoria kind of blows up at the fact that her parents are, once again, missing an occasion that's special to her. The poor kid actually believes her parents don't love her, and that they're going to find some other kid they like better and make her their daughter instead. Mary Anne has a talk with Victoria and helps her see that her parents DO love her, in spite of the fact that they travel a lot.

Subplot: Richard is away on a business trip, Dawn and Jeff are in CA, and Sharon starts to cling to Mary Anne a little more. Also, she keeps referring to herself as Mary Anne's mom, and referring to Mary Anne as her daughter. It becomes pretty clear that Sharon is using Mary Anne as a substitute Dawn. Sharon admits that she has a tendency to live in the past when she misses someone or something, and that she'd do the same thing if Mary Anne were gone. Also, Dawn makes a surprise visit home for Thanksgiving.

Rating: 2

Thoughts and Things
  • Don't even get me started on all the ridiculous British stereotypes. What I especially hated was the fact that Victoria was so fascinated by all things American and started trying so hard to assimilate. Not everyone wants to be one of us, BSC people!
  • I don't think Victoria can actually call herself a princess, can she? She's not the daughter of a king or queen.
  • It was actually sort of touching when Dawn showed up on Thanksgiving to surprise her mom. :)
  • I don't really have much to say about this one....

5 comments:

  1. What is in/near Stoneybrook/Stamford that makes it so attractive to the Kents? Or even Watson?

    The BSC does need to learn that not all non-Americans want to be just like us. There is nothing desirable about an American accent. Especially when you come with a British one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I found this blog yesterday and have been reading it from its beginning since. It certainly brings back a lot of memories. Great job.

    Technically, Victoria could be a princess by being the daughter of someone other than a king or queen. The male-line, at least in the UK, grandchildren of the monarch are princes and princesses by right. So you can have the son of HRH the Duke of Kent bearing the title of Prince Michael of Kent. Speaking of "Kent," I love this book's allusion to Victoria Kent, since it was Victoria of Kent who became Queen Victoria. Brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank god I'm not the only one who noticed her name :)

      Delete
  3. Why does it bother Mary Anne that Sharon calls her her daughter? Sharon is raising her, & Mary Anne's mom has been dead forever. I guess she would prefer for Sharon to specifically refer to her as "my stepdaughter," & the Brewers could specify that Emily Michelle is "our adopted daughter."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Victoria is a stupid,stereotypical England name.But I can't insult it too much cuz its my middle name:)

    ReplyDelete