You guys!! I have the perfect method for raising children. Let wolves raise them until they are talking age! Hey, it worked for the three Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place in Maryrose Wood’s book The Hidden Gallery. Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia were raised by wolves and mostly turned out all right. It’s up to their levelheaded governess, Penelope Lumley aka Lumawoo to civilize the children while unraveling a few secrets in London.
Peeps, the Hidden Gallery has charm in spades. THERE ARE PICTURES. The children talk in howls sometimes and have a pet squirrel named Nutsawoo. And they get hyper kid excited by animals. And Penelope!! She’s from the school of awesome governesses. But actually, the Agatha Swanebourne School and is constantly quoting maxims from Agatha like they are Bible verses, haha. But yeah, Penelope rocks and you can tell that she cares about the kids WAY more than their rich adoptive parents, the Ashtons. I mean, Lady Ashton is such a nut that she moves to London because her house is being re-done so okay the house she gets in London is bigger than that one palace. Yeah buddy. And okay, she just does all these social gaffes and complains about doing charity etc. I did not love her.
The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood is a quick read. It never gets boring. It’s laugh out loud funny, because it’s narrated in such a dry way that when you read certain lines out loud to yourself, it’s hilarious. On purpose, not unintentionally. And another awesome factor? It’s historical fiction. And I love this era, it’s the Victorian era and there are trains! YAY! Also a cameo appearance by pirates.
You don’t need to read the first book, The Mysterious Howling, to be able to follow the story in The Hidden Gallery. However, once CYBILS are over, I think I want to read the first in this series.
The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood is awesome if you like middle grade fiction. Penelope is like a way more cheerful Jane Eyre. She’s got this admirable practicality. ALSO there’s a small romance between some grown ups but OBVIOUSLY zero sexy times. SIgh. And as you have likely gathered, I really really loved Penelope. As a grown-up, this book was amusing for me.
Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my local library.
This is a CYBILS book.