I've started reading the Famous Five again and the first thing that struck me was how easily Enid Blyton creates characters, builds tension and draws the reader along - even for an adult reader such as myself. I do have a remnant memory of the story, as this series was one of my favourites as a child but I hadn't expected the story to work so well for me as an adult.
I am also struck by some of the underlying cultural themes that are really strong but oblivious to me when I read them many years ago. For instance the prickly character of Georgina and her desire to do boy things. I wonder how she resonated with head strong girls at the time of writing? The role her mother plays in the family dominated by the scientist husband. Their attitude towards the domestic staff. Interesting.
And of course the descriptions of the Cornish coast and countryside, intrinsic to the story and which informed my view of England. When I visited Cornwall a couple of years ago I was not disappointed.
There are so many elements that go into what appears on the surface to be just another book about children having adventures. I can't imaging not having this and the rest of the series on my bookshelf.