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THE INCORRIGIBLE CHILDREN OF ASHTON PLACE: THE MYSTERIOUS HOWLING By: Maryrose Wood July 2, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.
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     This juvenille selection was discovered, by chance, on the Moonlit Library’s new shelf, and the Lycan Librarian was very much hoping to love it. The children are so terribly incorrigible because they were raised by wolves and newly captured by Lord Ashton, the husband of Lady Constance, a woman who had not expected children to be a part of her married life. They were kept for ten days in a barn until Miss Penelope Lumley is hired to be their governess. (Considering the modes of travel and communication at the turn of the century, when the novel takes place, in this reader’s opinion this seems far too short an expanse to advertise for a governess, correspond, and have her arrive.) There is considerable howling and romping, as one might expect of feral children, but they are fast learners, and they adjust very quickly.
     The Lycan Librarian did enjoy many aspects of this book, but there was something rankling in the way the author seemed to display her cleverness like a shiny badge, which often took the readers’ attention away from the story. Additionally, there were numerous instances where one was pulled out of the time period by modern references such as aluminum and aerobics. Some might find them amusing, but this reader did not appreciate being yanked from the story needlessly. Lastly, the author tended to wander off topic, especially at the beginning, in a distracting manner. The writing did even out, and she stopped doing this by the third chapter or so.

     In all, the book will provide a chuckle, especially to the young readers at whom it is aimed. It is what one would expect of a book about children raised by wolves, but sadly, with absolutely no surprises in that arena. It’s quite obviously slated to be a series, so this reader will either have to get used to the author’s haphazard and agitated style, or pass on the next book(s).

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