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The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book III: The Unseen Guest (edition 2012)

by Maryrose Wood, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)

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1551676,568 (3.91)25
foggidawn's review
The Incorrigible Children of Aston Place, Book III: The Unseen Guest is, as the title suggests, the third book in a delightful little series about Miss Penelope Lumley, governess, and her three young charges who were literally raised by wolves. In this book, Penelope and the Incorrigibles are back at Ashton Place after their eventful trip to London. An expedition into the forest surrounding the manor reveals a few clues about the Incorrigible children's upbringing.

I'm quite fond of this series, but at this point I would definitely recommend starting at the beginning -- if you jump in with this book, you'll be lacking a lot of necessary back-story. I don't think I loved this book quite as much as the earlier two, but it was still very pleasant, and very nice to see Penelope's character develop a bit more. I look forward to reading future volumes, and hope that they will provide a few revelations about some of the long-standing mysteries in the series.

The narrative voice reminded me of the Series of Unfortunate Events -- more strongly in this book than in previous books. That's not a criticism per se, though if the narrator of the Snicket series got on your nerves with the slightly didactic humor, you may experience the same thing with this series. ( )
  foggidawn | Apr 16, 2012 |
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Showing 16 of 16
the joke is getting too thin for, after 2 books of chortling, this one just didn't do it for me. I will still recommend the series to lovers of Lemony Snicket though. ( )
  celerydog | Nov 28, 2013 |
The Ashtons, Incorrigibles, and Penelope have been back from London for only a few days when Lord Frederick's mother shows up, with a new boyfriend in tow. The boyfriend is obsessed with his latest money-making scheme, racing ostriches, but he seems a bit too interested in the children for Penelope's taste.

Well, not very many answers here either. And also more questions. Reading these books is like watching an episode of Lost: each book gives you 1 kind-of-answer and 5 huge new questions. But they're still really entertaining. Penelope is a perfect unexpected heroine, and the villains are never too villain-y, nor not villain-y enough. The children are adorable, and all of the supporting characters are excellent. ( )
1 vote norabelle414 | May 8, 2013 |
When you have been raised by wolves, you tend to be a bit incorrigible. That’s okay. It gives you a bit of strong-minded-ness that is often lacking in our milktoast world. Like the story. Like the illustrations. ( )
  debnance | May 5, 2013 |
We again have a fun adventure. As I said in my reviews of the last two books there are a lot of questions that need answering and this one brings us a few steps closer to those answers but we also end up with more questions. Is Lord Ashton’s father still alive? What is the curse on the family? And what does it have to do with the incorrigible’s and Penelope? And so many more…

It was very interesting when the children are sent out into the woods to help find the Admiral’s ostrich and how once they were in the woods again they started becoming a bit feral again , we also get a hint of where the children lived for awhile. I hope there will be some flashbacks in the future books about the children’s time in the woods and how they came to be there. The Admiral is not a good man and it seems like Penelope is the only one who see’s it but she has a plan to help out Lord Ashton’s “widowed” mother get out of her engagement to the rascal. But if you have been keeping up with these books you know that Penelope’s plans never go as planned. I really enjoyed the séance it cracked me up, Mrs. Lanesko was so much fun.

I really want the next book right now but I guess I have to wait till November. I do hope that we will get some answers even if it is not all the answers but some would be nice because this book just brought even more questions.

As with the first two books Katherine Kellgren’s narration is so fabulous with a lot more people making wolf sounds, and an ostrich we can’t forget the ostrich! Every voice is distinct and every animal sound/voice is fabulous loved Mrs. Lenesko(sp. audio) in this one too. Kellgren’s range is so unbelievable that at times you wonder if there is more than one voice narrating but no it is all Katherine. It is books like this one that make me realize why Katherine Kellgren is one of my all time favorite narrators. This book is up for an Audie Award for Best Solo Female Narration and I do believe I have found my winner!

I highly recommend this series I think these are a great roadtrip series, they are fun for the whole family, and they aren’t too long with this one being the longest at 6 hrs 50 min. so even if you aren’t going too far you could easily get one whole book done and everyone in the car will enjoy them!

4 ½ Stars ( )
  susiesharp | May 2, 2013 |
We loved all three in this series and can't wait for the 4th to come out. So fun to read aloud! ( )
  jenstrongin | Mar 31, 2013 |
Cleverest of the series, thus far. Rampant wordplay (synonyms and acronyms feature prominently throughout), with a snappy storyline to boot. (Though it seems like Daniel Handler should get royalties for the Snicket-ness.)
Z is very much looking forward to the next book in the series, which he will have to wait for, since he's actually reading it contemporaneously. ( )
  beckydj | Mar 31, 2013 |
This book reminded me that Miss Penelope Lumley is only 16, which I find a little hard to believe, but otherwise a satisfying continuation of the series.

The children are growing more civilized, and Penelope teaches them while daydreaming about Simon and wondering why her parents never came back for her. The mysteries continue to grow as an ostrich shows up on the grounds and then the hunt is on. ( )
  scote23 | Mar 30, 2013 |
Illustrated review of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Unseen Guestbibliovermis.com ( )
  bibliovermis | Aug 8, 2012 |
This series is so fun! It makes me laugh out loud and want to bug whoever is closest to me by reading the funny bits out loud to them=D You should start with the first book, though, or else it might seem weird. ( )
  jfoster_sf | Jul 29, 2012 |
This is the third book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, a sort of satire about a young governess taking care of three children who were literally raised by wolves. I love the writing style and humour of these books, and the illustrations are wonderful. If you've been enjoying the series so far, you'll probably want to continue on. If you haven't read the earlier books, I'd recommend starting at the beginning, though I've heard that the second one at least could still be enjoyed as a stand-alone.

The only complaint I have about the series is that the underlying mystery keeps getting more and more complex without being resolved. We don't know who left the children in the woods, or what happened to Penelope's parents, or basically anything about how the current situation came about. I was particularly disappointed about the lack of progress in the second book, and that kept me from fully enjoying this third one: rather than tearing through in my eagerness to find out what would happen, I found myself just bracing for another disappointment. In the end, that may have been for the best because I didn't come away from the book unpleasantly surprised, but it didn't make for the ideal reading experience either.

Basically, the plot continues to thicken in this book; we get some tantalizing hints about various aspects of the mystery, and learn some very interesting new things. We still don't get to see how everything fits together, though, and I just hope that the ultimate resolution will tie it all together satisfactorily. I almost think that I'll enjoy the books more when I can reread them after the whole series is done, and just focus on the fun playful tone without worrying about whether the series as a whole is going to come together properly in the end.

Other than that, though, I'm very happy with this installment. It introduces some fun new characters, and Penelope also experiences a bit of character development as she tries to come to terms with growing up and realizes, for example, that her favourite childhood books aren't quite as exciting as she used to think. I'm hoping that future books will show the Incorrigibles developing a bit more too; they've seemed pretty static ever since the original great strides that Penelope made with them in the first book.

On the whole, I'd recommend this book and this series. I think it's one of the few children's (not YA) series that I can still enjoy thoroughly as an adult. I just wish I weren't so nervous about whether the overall resolution will be satisfactory or not, but maybe that's just a sign of how much I care about the books. ( )
2 vote _Zoe_ | Jun 22, 2012 |
I loved the scenes with the giant wolves! And the cave that is fitted out with quilts, pillows, and fresh sandwiches. I'm just as anxious to understand this mystery as Penelope is. I also empathized with Penelope's disenchantment with her favorite stories - that process of growing beyond things as we grow up is a familiar one. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Jun 11, 2012 |
The Unseen Guest is another exciting installment of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, continuing the mysteries and tone of the previous two books. This is not a volume to pick up cold - you will need to read at least the second book to properly understand many of the mysteries and solutions and more mysteries that appear in this one.

If you are skilled at reading between the lines, you might be able to figure out some of the answers that our plucky heroine Penelope Lumley is trying to find, but be prepared to be disappointed: for as often as I had an "aha!" moment, I was perplexed by others. Of course, while there are several questions that weave through the plots of the Incorrigible Children series, each book has its own distinct adventurous plot that leaves Miss Lumley out of her element and the Incorrigible siblings having a grand time.

Some of the themes to this third book made me think that it would be the last of the series, except for maybe an epilogue happy-ever-after, but of course just as everything might be resolved, we're left with even more questions, as I've mentioned several times already. Honestly, if I don't hear that the fourth book is forthcoming in due time, I shall likely impersonate Lady Constance with a stomping of the foot and petulant pout. At any rate, the themes are "growing up" and "long-lost loved ones' return". Regarding the first theme, not only is 15-year-old Penelope starting to become aware of her first falling-in-love, but the three children are outgrowing their clothes, the boys have been invited to Lord Fredrick's study after dinner like adults, and they're all welcomed out of the nursery. Regarding the second theme, I probably shouldn't talk about it much unless I want to spoil everyone reading this, but it suffices to say that it is a common theme in the book.

As always, there is a lot of fun with the narrative in a not-quite-didactic way - elks, thing that can be spelled "POE" (and similar acronyms), birds, and synonyms are all played with in different ways. The in-universe series Giddy-Yap, Rainbow is also used to contrast with the book we're reading, and even serves to illustrate some of the ways that Penelope is growing up.

While this book did seem to be a bit long feeling, and I kept flipping to the back to see how much farther I had to go, I think it was more because I was dying to know the answer to all the secrets and mysteries, and less because I was bored (though sometimes wanting to get to the end because it's taking too long, and wanting to get to the end because you're dying to see the solution to a mystery are very similar feelings).

I will continue to recommend this series to anyone I think might enjoy it, especially with the fantastic illustrations, and I'm very much looking forward to the next installment. ( )
  keristars | Jun 10, 2012 |
I just love these books. Penelope Lumley and the Incorrigible children are lovable, the adventures are hilarious, and the musings of the narrator are witty and charming. I'm already anxious for the next one to come out & I'm dying to know how many there will be in the series until all of the answers are revealed. ( )
  ChristianR | May 26, 2012 |
I love this series, and this third installment was good, but not as good as the first two. I found it a bit slow, even frivolous, in a few places. Still, I enjoyed learning the new revelations about the children and the mystery of Judge Quinzy is interesting. Klassen's illustrations are delightful and Wood's old-fashioned language and tongue-in-cheek humor continues to amuse. I love how the children add "-who" to the end of most of their words. I look forward to book four. ( )
  bookwren | May 17, 2012 |
The Incorrigible Children of Aston Place, Book III: The Unseen Guest is, as the title suggests, the third book in a delightful little series about Miss Penelope Lumley, governess, and her three young charges who were literally raised by wolves. In this book, Penelope and the Incorrigibles are back at Ashton Place after their eventful trip to London. An expedition into the forest surrounding the manor reveals a few clues about the Incorrigible children's upbringing.

I'm quite fond of this series, but at this point I would definitely recommend starting at the beginning -- if you jump in with this book, you'll be lacking a lot of necessary back-story. I don't think I loved this book quite as much as the earlier two, but it was still very pleasant, and very nice to see Penelope's character develop a bit more. I look forward to reading future volumes, and hope that they will provide a few revelations about some of the long-standing mysteries in the series.

The narrative voice reminded me of the Series of Unfortunate Events -- more strongly in this book than in previous books. That's not a criticism per se, though if the narrator of the Snicket series got on your nerves with the slightly didactic humor, you may experience the same thing with this series. ( )
  foggidawn | Apr 16, 2012 |
I love these books. They combine the typical (almost orphan) governess of the Victorian era with atypical charges, humor and mystery.

Penelope Lumley in this third book has learned how to better control the children -- though she's not more than a child herself. At the very end of the book, she realizes that there's a time for growing up, even for herself.

In the meantime, she has to divert a money-hungry admiral from making her charges into a circus sideshow.

Love love these books. My biggest complaint isn't much of one: it's such a fast read that I finished it very quickly and must wait for the next one. I suppose it's like the Giddy-Yap Rainbow books, only much much better.

My other real complaint is occasionally the moralizing of the narrator gets slightly convoluted where I really had to think about it. Though I did like the comparison with acronyms and lasers -- giving the audience just a hint that we know we're not expected to believe this is really a Victorian-era book, despite its plucky governess trappings.

Dying for the next one. Dying for more answers. I can see this could take a while. Maryrose Wood can't write them fast enough for me, apparently. ( )
1 vote mbmeadow | Apr 1, 2012 |
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