The boy and I came a little bit late listening to this one, as we were in the middle of other series when it came out – but worth the wait. I’m linking this to the April Sound Bytes Link-Up over at Devourer of Books.
The Interrupted Tale. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 4. by Maryrose Wood. Read by Katherine Kellgren. HarperCollins Audio, 2013.
It’s Miss Penelope Lumley’s sixteenth birthday, and she is blue about the complete lack of birthday attention now that she’s a governess. Instead, she’s flooded with written requests from the headmistress and lots of the girls at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females to give the keynote speech at their upcoming Celebrate Alumnae Knowledge Exposition, or CAKE Day. It seems that the shifty Judge Quinzy, whom Penelope suspects of being the supposedly deceased elder Lord Ashton, is attempting a nefarious takeover of the Swanburne Academy Board. Much of the book is taken up with Penelope’s preparations for going to the event with the children, including trying to find new clothes and the difficulty of writing her speech. Meanwhile, the children are obsessed with the Fall of Rome, while Penelope works to uncover the secrets of the “Cannibal Book.”
Penelope is busily trying to solve bunches of intertwined mysteries over the course of the series, including why she’s so firmly instructed to keep her hair dyed a dull black; why the Incorrigible children were left to be raised by wolves; what has happened to her own parents; and of course, why Lord Ashton has howling fits. If you were to go into this book looking for lots more answers to these questions, you would be gravely disappointed – there were only a couple of smallish revelations in this entry. Read instead for the pure enjoyment of the character interactions, the ridiculous situations that arise, and the terribly funny language use. We have listened to this series the whole way, and Katherine Kellgren does a fantastic job with the range of accents and voices that this calls for. This time, the children would come in from the car marching and chanting, “Cake Day, Cake Day, the Best Day of the Year!” (This led naturally to trying the cake-in-a-mug recipe from the One Bowl Baking book I got for Christmas, as the fastest cake recipe I had to hand.) In any case, while I’ll hope for more Revelations in future books, this is a series we all enjoy and will keep on reading.