Monday, December 30, 2013
The Interrupted Tale (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book IV) Review
Last year I reviewed the third book in this adorable series, The Unseen Guest. Since then, I've been eagerly awaiting the publication of book four and as usual, Maryrose Wood did not disappoint.
The book opens with intrepid nanny, Penelope Lumley, in a bit of a depression because it is her 16th birthday and no one at Ashton Place is aware of that. Of course everything perks up nicely by the end of the first chapter. She receives an invitation from Charlotte Mortimer, the beloved headmistress of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, to speak at the first annual Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Exposition (CAKE). Lady Ashton grants Penny permission to take the Incorrigibles off to her alma mater where the governess is disturbed to find Judge Quinzy on the board of trustees, making all sorts of unpleasant changes. After the events of previous books, Penelope is still convinced that the judge is really Edward Ashton, supposedly the late father of her employer, Frederick Ashton.
Penny must care for her rambunctious and intelligent charges, write her speech, navigate the changed school and try to solve the mystery of Judge Quinzy. She learns that the Swanburne Academy is on the verge of being changed completely by the new trustees and must win over the alums and the board by her speech demonstrating her academic talents learned at the school. Of course she has the help of her charges, her former teachers and friends, Ms. Mortimer and Simon, her special friend who appears after a dangerous excursion with pirates.
The book ends with an Interrupted Tale, as the title suggests, which only goes to further the mystery of the series. What mysterious affliction plagues the Ashton family? Why must Penelope continue to dye her hair? Why does Judge Quinzy refer to "pruning" a bit of his family tree to keep one line strong? Why do I suspect that Penny and the Incorrigibles are related to the Ashtons? There are no straight answers in this novel, but as usual, Wood's writing is witty and entertaining and you can't help but cheer for the plucky governess and her adorably wolfish charges!
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