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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quirky Charm Makes Incorrigibles Memorable

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

I usually write my own book summaries, but occasionally, I come across one that recounts a difficult-to-describe story so well, I just have to use it. Case in point:

Of especially naughty children, it is sometimes said: "They must have been raised by wolves." The Incorrigible children actually were.

Discovered in the forests of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.

Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a 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 eliminate their canine tendencies.

But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to civilize the Incorrigibles in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?

Penelope is no stranger to mystery, as her own origins are also cloaked in secrecy. But as Agatha Swanburne herself once said, "Things may happen for a reason, but that doesn't mean we know what the reason is - at least not yet."

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling, the first book in a series by Maryrose Wood, is just as quirky as the summary makes it sound. Penelope's adventures with her infectious charges, her fussy mistress, and the inscrutable Mr. Ashton, make for a funny, warmhearted romp that's as charming as it is engaging. I enjoyed it so much I would have read the next book anyway, but the plot twist at the end of this one clinched the deal. Now, I have to see where the story goes. I'm pretty sure I've already got the mystery of the children's origin solved - now I just have to find out if I'm right. See you soon, Incorrigibles!

(Readalikes: The book's tone reminded me a little of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events books, although the story's much different.)

Grade: B

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG

To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling from the generous folks at Harper Collins. Thank you!


  1. quirky? warmhearted? YEAH i'm in.

  2. This sounds really quirky and fun, definitely one for my list.

  3. I love that you give everything a grade and a content rating. Thanks for the great reviews. This book is one of my favorites. :)

  4. I would have NEVER read this book if you didnt recommend it. So glad I did. I loved it! Penny is great (very unlike the 15 year olds of today) Loved all Agatha Swanburne quotes. Like you, I think I figured out the mystery but cant wait for the next one. Thank you for the review!!!!!

  5. I just finished reading the first title and immediately read the second book and loved them. So delightful and funny. I love quirky though, and wish I could write it msyelf. Ever since I read The Westing Game. Have you ever read that? One of my all-time favs. The second book gives more clues to the mystery, but I sure wanted MORE! Can't wait to see what happens, atlhough I got my theories, too. :-)

  6. Just two weeks ago I discovered these books and read them both one after another. Loved them, so fun and mysterious, plus I adore quirky. Ever since I read The Westing Game years ago. Have you read that?

    The second Incorrigle book gives more clues, but not enough! So the mystery continues, although I have my theories, too. ;-)


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