So, this is Dawn’s first BSC book, in which she helps Mary Anne redecorate, makes friends with Kristy by playing in a barn, bitches about perfectly nice weather (especially for New England) and has to solve a problem like the Barretts. Now, Mrs and Mr Barrett have just gotten a divorce, and have a nasty relationship and a shaky grasp on reality…Ma Barrett is a monumental fuck-up, and takes complete advantage of Dawn, who keeps talking about how she-Barrett looks like a model (I know, what? She’s purdy, I can’t ask her questions…); so, Dawn becomes the surrogate mom until Mr Barrett pseudo-kidnaps eldest Barrett child…
In other BSC activities, Kristy plays this game “Let’s All Come In” in which they all pretend to be the staff and guests of a fancy hotel…Now, let me say that Ms. Ann M. Martin is positively obsessed with the fact that Watson is a millionaire…she could just say he’s wealthy or well-off or even rich…but Watson is always described as a millionaire. For some reason, that totally bugs me. Anyway, there’s some Morbidda Destiny action (to whom I will devote an entire entry at some point in the near future) and MARY ANNE’S DAD GETS CONTACTS! [that’s in all caps, ‘cause Mary Anne, Dawn and Kristy totally freak] and Dawn’s mom buys red meat. Dawn doesn’t seem as militantly veggie/health food in this book—she even eats chocolate brownies.
I love that, in the early books, the exposition isn’t codified yet: no mention of California cool, Kristy doesn’t have a “uniform” yet, no overuse of the word “sophisticated” (to which I will also devote an inordinate amount of time soon), etc.
Finally, a quick word about divorce and the single baby-sitter. It never stood out to me, reading these originally, just how much divorce and remarriage there is in these books. And it’s not the end of the world; yeah, it sucks, and it creates all kinds of drama, but all the characters deal the best they can. So that’s actually kinda cool.