In this installation of the Incorrigible Children series, we meet Lord Fredrick’s mother, the Widow Ashton. She arrives with little notice–sending Lady Constance into a state of frenzy–accompanied by Admiral Faucet (pronounced Faw-say,) her gentleman friend who hopes to marry her.
The 3 Incorrigible Children still maintain some of their wolf-ish qualities, obtained from having been raised by them, but are making great strides in English speech and manners. Admiral Faucet, however, dwells only on their ability to track things in the forest and, when his imported African ostrich, Bertha, goes missing, he invites the siblings and their governess on a mini safari to find her in the surrounding forest. When Penelope and the children become separated from the admiral (whose intentions for the ostrich and the Incorrigibles are quite sinister,) they encounter a cave that only deepens the mystery of the children’s upbringing.
As with the first 2 books, this is a unique story with many twists and turns. Although told in the 3rd person, it is mostly from Penelope’s viewpoint. The language is charming and conversational with the reader, reminding me more and more of Roald Dahl’s style (my favorite author.)
By the 3rd book, however, I was ready for some of the questions about the children’s and Penelope’s backgrounds to be answered. Instead of answers, there were only more questions. Clearly, Penelope and the children are connected in a way more than a governess is to her charges. And, clearly, Lord Fredrick has a secret that is becoming increasingly difficult to keep.
The story-lines with the supporting characters did wrap up satisfactorily, setting the stage for a new adventure in Book 4, which debuts on December 17th. Like other readers, I will just have to be patient.
8.5 out of 10 stars