Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place - the mysterious howling

Title: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place- the mysterious howling
Author: Maryrose Wood
Level: J
Location: J Wood M.

Have you ever watched someone's children who acted like animals? Well Penelope Lumley's charges really do. After being told she is old enough to leave Swansburne Academy for Poor Bright Females Penelope starts her first job (at 15) as a governess. She soon learns the three children were found living in the woods and act like wolves. Not only must she teach them how to dress and speak instead of bark, she must also have them ready to dance and socialize at Lady Constance's first Christmas party . Odd things happen. It seems someone is trying to lure the children into behaving in a way that would send Lady Constance running. Who is trying to sabotage Penelope's efforts with the children? Will she be fired before she can find out and will the children survive without her protection? It is clear Lady Constance has no clue about children and does not wish to form a relationship with them. Lord Ashton is away at his club quite frequently or hunting. (He and Mr. Aldo are the ones who found the children.) Although he does not attend the Christmas party he invites several of his hunting friends from the club. It is unclear exactly what he has been saying about the children to them. There are a few other characters who seem questionable and a few household staff who are Penelope's allies.

Bottom Line: I thought this was an enjoyable read and will pick up the next book to find out more answers to the background of the children and Penelope. I also want to learn if my hunches about who is causing trouble are correct. The book is set in a time when carriages are used, but don't let that turn you off. The language isn't old fashioned or hard to understand. There are just enough possible clues and new questions to keep me reading and the story moving along. You may think you have some of the answers! I felt for Penelope and shared her compassion for the children, who are really sweet kids. I too was trying to figure out the answers to the many questions that arise around the party.

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