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The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (1962)

by Joan Aiken

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Wolves Chronicles (1)

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Bonnie and her cousin Sylvia are left alone with the suspicious governess Miss Slighcarp, when Bonnie’s parents are leaving for a sea voyage. Miss Slighcarp have plans to take possession of the Willoughby Chase estate. And she sends the children to an orphanage run by Mrs. Brisket who must be in some relation to Fagin.

At the same time wolves are threatening the children at every turn. A Dickens-like YA-tale from victorian times - scary, fast-paced and very entertaining. ( )
2 vote ctpress | Jan 15, 2015 |
I think I would have loved this more had I read it as a kid, but I still enjoyed the story and can see why it is a childhood favorite for so many. It did not change my world, but it entertained me. I also appreciated the fact that Bonnie was so plucky and strong and positive, and always ready to take steps to improve her own situation while graciously accepting help when it was offered. Overall a pleasant, quick read.
  devafagan | Jan 2, 2015 |
A quite typical gothic story, reminiscent of Jayne Eyre or Little Princess, with evil governesses, parents missing (and thought dead at one stage), nasty schools and wolves. Not all the wolves are in the forest...

It's an interesting story, worth reading, not one of my favourites but a worthwhile read. ( )
  wyvernfriend | May 20, 2014 |
When her parents leave for a long sea voyage, little Bonnie and her cousin are left in the care of an evil woman who just wants to take over Bonnie's father's estate, and they find themselves facing various kind of hardship before they can find a way to expose her for the fraud she is.

This is a decent enough kids' book, and I give it some points for being written in a way that doesn't talk down to its audience, but I don't quite see why it's considered something of a minor children's classic. And I think it's the sort of thing I would have done better to read when I was still a kid, as my adult brain kept getting hung up on how artificial the faux-Victorian dialog sounded and asking all kinds of over-analytical questions. (Like, why is England suddenly full of ravenous wolves?) ( )
  bragan | Mar 8, 2014 |
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken is the first book (excepting the prequel) in an eleven book series. In my usual scatterbrained way of reading series, I read book three, Nightbirds of Nantucket as a teen. Somehow I completely missed it was part of a series.

The book opens with Sir Willoughby and Lady Green leaving for a restorative cruise to warmer climes. They leave their daughter, Bonnie in the care of Miss Slighcarp. Meanwhile, Bonnie's cousin Sylvia comes to the home via a frightening train ride. Together the children discover that Miss Slighcarp is up to no good. Before they can do anything about it, though, they are shipped off to an orphanage / workhouse.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase has many twists and abrupt changes in direction and tone. With the strange names and dark social commentary, it's clearly inspired by Dickens. Consider it Dickens-light. The book felt more like a series of connected short stories or Saturday serials than a coherent novel. Children though might get caught up in the numerous perils the characters go through. ( )
  pussreboots | Mar 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joan Aikenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gorey, EdwardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marriott, PatIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440496039, Paperback)

Wicked wolves and a grim governess threaten Bonnie and her cousin Sylvia when Bonnie's parents leave Willoughby Chase for a sea voyage. Left in the care of the cruel Miss Slighcarp, the girls can hardly believe what is happening to their once happy home. The servants are dismissed, the furniture is sold, and Bonnie and Sylvia are sent to a prison-like orphan school. It seems as if the endless hours of drudgery will never cease.

With the help of Simon the gooseboy and his flock, they escape. But how will they ever get Willoughby Chase free from the clutches of the evil Miss Slighcarp?

This new edition features an introduction by Aiken's daughter, Lizza, providing insight into the struggles Aiken--much like her heroines--had to endure before finally finishing this classic story a decade after she started writing it.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:06 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Surrounded by villains of the first order, brave Bonnie and gentle cousin Sylvia conquer all obstacles in this Victorian melodrama.

» see all 7 descriptions

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