Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review: The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1) by Maryrose Wood

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.

Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.

But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?
My Thoughts: Yes!  This book in wonderfully fabulous.  It starts with the no-nonsense Penelope Lumley and her wish to make a difference with the children she's been hired to teach.  The fact that she's only 15, barely older than her oldest charge, doesn't faze her.  The fact that the children in question have been raised by wolves- literally -and have no social or verbal skills beyond howling and drooling, makes her stiffen her resolve to do well by them.  The fact that the children are kept in the barn when she first gets to Ashton Place because they're too wild to be allowed inside the house appalls her, and subsequently endears her to me.

Yes, Penelope is the heart of the story but those wild children wormed their way to the forefront and left an impression.  Three children that howl when they talk?  What's not to love?  They call Miss Lumley "Lumawoo" for Pete's sake!  How cute is that?

Book one ends nicely, but there were a lot of mysteries left unanswered.  Mysteries that I now must solve with book 2.  I'm off!

More books by Maryrose Wood

Reading challenges: The E-book Challenge, The YA Reading Challenge

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