Nancy Drew Project continued: Reading the 1930 & 1959 versions of The Secret of The Old Clock simultaneously, comparing differences in the story and characters, and pondering dated plot points. Spoilers: full plot description below.
This wraps up the first book in the series! I've finished with the initial read on the second book, The Hidden Staircase, and am starting to organize my thoughts about it, so hopefully will have the first post in a week or so.
The Secret of the Old Clock – ND1.9
1930 (Ch 23-25) vs 1959 (Ch 18-20)
After interminable pages of suspense, the bank deposit box is found to contain a handwritten will, more recent than the one that left everything to the Tophams. There are some changes in the 1959 version in the details of how they gained access to the box and how the legal papers were handled.
The reading of the will takes place in the Drew’s residence, for some reason, with everyone concerned present. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of the estate goes to the cousins. 1930 Tophams sail grandly in, are generally unpleasant, and storm out. 1959 Tophams add a few shrieks about unpaid bills and the daughters having to go to work.
1930 wrapup: The Tophams were apparently deep in debt and nearly bankrupt on losing the inheritance, having to move from their tacky McMansion into a small house and no longer “able to carry themselves so high”. The Turner sisters and Mathew brothers aren’t mentioned. Abigail Rowan is now in good health with a full time trained nurse. Allie and Grace have used the money to spruce up their farmhouse and Allie is busy building her chicken farm empire. Nancy refuses a monetary reward but asks for the clock as a memento.
1959 wrapup: The Tophams were apparently deep in debt and nearly bankrupt on losing the inheritance, having to move from their beautiful home into a small house, to “give up their extravagant way of living”, and the snooty daughters forced to get jobs to make ends meet. The Mathew brothers get to start planning their travels. The Turner sisters sob for joy that they can now provide for little Judy, who didn’t even exist in the original version. Nancy brings a casserole to Abby Rowan, who is relieved that she will be able to supplement her pension and cackles delightedly that Nancy “outwitted those uppity Topham women”. Allie and Grace are planting flowers (because real ladies don’t do farmwork?) and ready to sign Allie up for voice lessons. Everybody heaps praise on Nancy, who is modest and embarrassed and blushes. She refuses all rewards but Allie and Grace insist on her giving her the clock as a memento.
Index of posts for The Secret of the Old Clock: