The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (Book 1) by Maryrose Wood

After the heaviness of Houellebecq I was looking for something lighter, more in the lines of the Mysterious Benedict Society (which is awesome) or the first book of Harry Potter. With nothing in cue to read, I started to browse on Amazon, and ended up with The Incorrigible Children. To be straight to the point, it´s an average book. Quick and easy read, but it simply lacks the main ingredients to be a great story.

incorrigible childrenThe story is about Miss Lumley, a smart and educated teen, who becomes governess of three young children in Ashton Place. These children were just found in the wilderness and behaved much like wolves. Personally, I found the children very weird and freaky, rather than intriguing, which I could bet wasn´t the author´s objective. Miss Lumley´s character, on the other hand, is very well developed. She is fun and funny, witty, extremely polite, and very determined. She also knows a bunch of wise quotes from the very peculiar school for orphan women she attended before coming to Ashton.

The thing is, the book should be called The Corrigible Governess of Ashton Place, because the story is much more about the governess than about the children. Miss Lumley is what makes the book a bit livelier and the one who commands the whole plot. In my view, the children behave more like dogs than children, and are just supporting characters. Miss Lumley, on the contrary, indeed attracted me, she has a lot of potential, seems like a very strong spirited and loving governess, and is the protagonist in every chapter.

Having said all that, when I started reading the book, and like any other book, I was hoping for a beginning-middle-end type of story. What I got instead was just the beginning. I guess you would have to read the second, or third, or fourth book of the series to see what happens, I’m not really sure. What I do know is that, in this particular book, the author introduced us to Miss Lumley, the children and the other characters. She also gave us some hints of what can eventually become an enigmatic and interesting plot. However, up to know, there wasn’t any real adventure that involves stopping a bad guy, or a mystery that a group of cool children would courageously and intelligently solve.

Maybe I started off with the wrong expectations, but I was really hoping for more. If you are looking for the sort of witty, dynamic, entertaining, full of awesome and brainy children, look somewhere else (or patiently read the whole series and let me know what happens next).

I guess a new Harry Potter won’t come out anytime soon. Can’t say I didn’t try though.

Mr. George

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