Tag Archives: The Captain’s Quarters

Review of KINDLE Ebook The Mysterious Howling – Book 1 of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood #Brainfluffbookreview #TheMysteriousHowlingbookreview

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This series was recommended to me by the Cap, of Captain’s Quarters, whose quirky book blogging site regularly uncovers true gems. It was Cap who pointed me in the direction of the glorious Lockwood & Co series, one of my all-time favourite reads of the decade, never mind the year, so when Cap suggested this offering, I scurried off to track it down…

BLURB: Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels. Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.

As you can probably tell from the blurb, there are aspects of this book which are very much tongue in cheek, but as with all the best exponents of parody, that doesn’t prevent Wood from serving up a cracking story. I love Penelope Lumley, who epitomises all those undaunted, intelligent governesses who featured so markedly in 18th and 19th century literature.

As she travels to Ashton Place, filled with ideas of teaching the children Latin and geography, she instead discovers they are being housed in a barn, filthy and afraid. Never mind about Latin – they cannot speak at all. Questions about what exactly they are doing running wild in the woods surrounding Ashton Place have to be put on hold as Penelope tackles the business of getting them to eat and drink without making a mess, and teaching them the basic phrases all good mannered children need to know. I love the kindness and empathy she demonstrates – as well as the fact that she clearly loved her time at the Swanburne Academy of Poor Bright Females and very much misses the companionship of her fellow students and her beloved mentor.

I’ve seen comparisons with Lemony Snickett’s series, but there isn’t the sharp-edged darkness here that runs throughout A Series of Unfortunate Events, unless the first book is very much a sheep in wolf’s clothing. As far as I’m concerned, this is another series that is too good to leave to the children, and I’m delighted to report that I’ve just got hold of the second book in the series. Highly recommended for children of all ages who appreciate both the enjoyable story and humour, most of which is clearly aimed at those of us considerably older than the nine-years-old and upwards this book has been written for.
9/10

The Spirit Animal Award Nomination

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I am honoured to have been nominated for this award by Charles French at https://charlesfrenchonwordsreadingandwriting.wordpress.com/. Do drop in and visit his blog if you haven’t already. He is presently busy at an exciting stage in his writing career as he has recently released his horror novel Maledicus – Book 1 of The Investigative Paranormal Society series.

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The rules of the award:
*Thank the blogger who nominated you, and link back to his/her blog.
*Post the award picture on your blog.
*Write a short paragraph about your blog and what it means to you.
*Answer this question: if you could be any animal, what would it be?
*Choose and notify ten  three nominees (yep – I’ve changed the rules on this one…)

What does my blog mean to me?
I love blogging about books. Reading is my main hobby and the fact that I can now share my thoughts and opinions with other book lovers around the world never fails to fill me with awed delight. I grew up in an era when reading was mostly a private affair and while I could discuss books with family members as we swapped our library books about, there was no way I could reach out to anyone else. However, now I can read reviews on any type of book I choose and exchange recommendations with readers who share my tastes. I am now in a position where I can request review copies through the likes of Netgalley and help spread the word about new releases that I’ve enjoyed. It is truly a wonderful time to be alive.

This other consequence is that as I exchange opinions and chat about books, I’ve got to know a community of wonderful people online – people I now count as friends. People from all over the world who I’ll probably never meet, but I now know what they read, what they do for a living and their views and opinions on all sorts of subjects. People who can have me laughing aloud as I sit reading their words, or whose kind comforting words cheer me up when I’m down. Thank you, all of you…

What is my spirit animal?
As for my spirit animal – it’s the elephant. I’ve loved these amazing creatures since I was a child and feel very sad they are being continuously hunted for their ivory. There was an excellent programme on Radio

pixabay.com

pixabay.com

4 about them, where I learnt that most of their communication is carried out sub-sonically, below human hearing range and that they choose their matriarch leaders for their kindness and nurturing skills. Which just goes to show how much more evolved they are, compared the sickening violence we visit upon each other by dint of choosing the most ambitious to be our leaders.

The females live in family groups and they look after each other when they are ill or injured and raise babies together. When not hunted, they can live up to the age of seventy. They are nomadic and roam across large tracts of land and their apparent destruction can help vegetation as their manure contains seeds and fertilises the land, while they snap off dead and dying branches during grazing. I just hope when my grandchildren and their children are adults, elephants will still be roaming around Africa and Asia – the outlook for them right now isn’t looking all that good.

My nominations
I’m going to nominate three awesome bloggers:-
The Captain’s Quarters – https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordpress.com/. A fabulous nautical blogger whose reviews on a range of entertaining books are a delight to read.
SCy-Fy – the blog of S.C. Flynn – https://scflynn.com/. Author Stuart Flynn is bound to have an interesting spirit animal, given the subject matter of his book Children of the Different.
Kristen Twardowski – https://kristentwardowski.wordpress.com/. A writers’ blog, whose blogs on writing are always worth reading.