The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Series #1)

The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Series #1) - The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1)This was a droll little book. I actually liked the narrator’s voice, even though I can understand that some might find it annoying. Young Penelope, coming fresh from Miss Swanburne’s Academy for Poor Bright Females enters her first employment as a governess for three children at Ashton Place. The children are not the heirs to Lord Frederic and Lady Constance of Ashton Place, but rather little wildlings that the Lord of the manor allegedly found while hunting in the woods. The book is mostly a set-up for books to come in the serious. Both Penelope’s and the children’s (named Alexander, Beowulf and Cassiopeia by the Lord Ashton) past is a mystery and the supposed benefactor’s intention appear rather sinister. There are lots of little pearls of wisdom sprinkled throughout the book. I was quite taken by an early, very cute description of Penelope’s ponderings:She had seen cats fall clumsily from windowsills and then walk off as if nothing undignified had happened; this, Miss Lumley realized, was her wisest course of action. (page 3)This is really a nice little read for younger children, also educational. I quite liked the explanations given for “suspension of disbelief,” “irony,” “selective truth telling,” “hyperbole,” and so on.To say it with the words of Agatha Swanburne, founder of the Academy by the same name:“All books are judged by their covers until they are read.”