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The Long-Lost Home

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Unhappy Penelope Lumley is trapped in unhappy Plinkst! Even the beets for which Plinkst is inexplicably famous fail to grow in this utterly miserable Russian village. Penelope anxiously counts the days and wonders how she will ever get back to England in time to save all the Ashtons—who, she now knows, include herself and the Incorrigible children, although their precise l Unhappy Penelope Lumley is trapped in unhappy Plinkst! Even the beets for which Plinkst is inexplicably famous fail to grow in this utterly miserable Russian village. Penelope anxiously counts the days and wonders how she will ever get back to England in time to save all the Ashtons—who, she now knows, include herself and the Incorrigible children, although their precise location on the family tree is still a mystery—from their accursèd fate. Her daring scheme to escape sends her on a wildly unexpected journey. But time is running out, and the not-really-dead Edward Ashton is still on the loose. His mad obsession with the wolfish curse on the Ashtons puts Penelope and the Incorrigibles in dire peril. As Penelope fights her way back to her beloved pupils, the three brave Incorrigibles endure their gloomy new tutor and worriedly prepare for the arrival of Lady Constance’s baby. Little do they know the danger they’re in! In this action-packed conclusion to the acclaimed series, mysteries are solved and long-lost answers are found. Only one question remains: Will Penelope and the Incorrigibles find a way to undo the family curse in time, or will the next full moon be their last?


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Unhappy Penelope Lumley is trapped in unhappy Plinkst! Even the beets for which Plinkst is inexplicably famous fail to grow in this utterly miserable Russian village. Penelope anxiously counts the days and wonders how she will ever get back to England in time to save all the Ashtons—who, she now knows, include herself and the Incorrigible children, although their precise l Unhappy Penelope Lumley is trapped in unhappy Plinkst! Even the beets for which Plinkst is inexplicably famous fail to grow in this utterly miserable Russian village. Penelope anxiously counts the days and wonders how she will ever get back to England in time to save all the Ashtons—who, she now knows, include herself and the Incorrigible children, although their precise location on the family tree is still a mystery—from their accursèd fate. Her daring scheme to escape sends her on a wildly unexpected journey. But time is running out, and the not-really-dead Edward Ashton is still on the loose. His mad obsession with the wolfish curse on the Ashtons puts Penelope and the Incorrigibles in dire peril. As Penelope fights her way back to her beloved pupils, the three brave Incorrigibles endure their gloomy new tutor and worriedly prepare for the arrival of Lady Constance’s baby. Little do they know the danger they’re in! In this action-packed conclusion to the acclaimed series, mysteries are solved and long-lost answers are found. Only one question remains: Will Penelope and the Incorrigibles find a way to undo the family curse in time, or will the next full moon be their last?

30 review for The Long-Lost Home

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    "It is a strange feeling, to meet people who make such a vivid impression, and then not know how things turn out for them." This final volume gets off to a sad start as we find our dear Miss Lumley incarcerated dwelling at the Babushkinov's Failing Beet Plantation in Plinkst. Her three horrid charges are more interested in kicking one another than learning anything about geography from the wretched potato globe Miss Lumley has been forced to improvise. Meanwhile, back at Ashton Place, the Incorrig "It is a strange feeling, to meet people who make such a vivid impression, and then not know how things turn out for them." This final volume gets off to a sad start as we find our dear Miss Lumley incarcerated dwelling at the Babushkinov's Failing Beet Plantation in Plinkst. Her three horrid charges are more interested in kicking one another than learning anything about geography from the wretched potato globe Miss Lumley has been forced to improvise. Meanwhile, back at Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are compelled to educate themselves, as their tutor has dissolved into a pathetic puddle of self-pity. And, as everyone eagerly awaits the arrival of the new baby, Lord Frederick has just given the threesome an odd chore to add to their "to-doawoo" list . . . "You want us to act like woofs around the baby?" There's not a lot more I can tell you without giving too much away. All of the many, many questions are answered quite satisfactorily. This was a perfect end to a wholly delightful series. And, now begins the long wait to see what Maryrose Wood comes up with next.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    I was devastated to learn that Katherine Kellgren had passed away. Her narration of the first five books was true art. The new narrator did a good job, but it was impossible not to compare and wish for Kellgren's voice back. The acknowledgments and dedication at the end of the book made me sob. As for the book itself, I felt it wrapped the series up nicely. Lots of deus ex machina (convenient coincidences and happenstance), which is typical of middle grade. I think most readers of these books ha I was devastated to learn that Katherine Kellgren had passed away. Her narration of the first five books was true art. The new narrator did a good job, but it was impossible not to compare and wish for Kellgren's voice back. The acknowledgments and dedication at the end of the book made me sob. As for the book itself, I felt it wrapped the series up nicely. Lots of deus ex machina (convenient coincidences and happenstance), which is typical of middle grade. I think most readers of these books had long predicted the ending and most of how it gets there, but that's not really the whole point of these books. The main draw is the wonderful characters and how they face every conflict. This whole series was a real joy to experience. I can't wait for my kids to be a bit older so they can listen too.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    George R R Martin classifies authors as either architects (everything planned out in advance) or gardeners (plop in a seed, see what happens). And while I often like the organic garden approach, series based on Conspiratorial Mysterious Events are so, so much better in the hands of architects. (Ahem, Series of Unfortunate Events, X-Files, and Lost.) Maryrose Wood is very much an architect, and in this final book of her series, all the pieces built up over the previous five books come satisfyingl George R R Martin classifies authors as either architects (everything planned out in advance) or gardeners (plop in a seed, see what happens). And while I often like the organic garden approach, series based on Conspiratorial Mysterious Events are so, so much better in the hands of architects. (Ahem, Series of Unfortunate Events, X-Files, and Lost.) Maryrose Wood is very much an architect, and in this final book of her series, all the pieces built up over the previous five books come satisfyingly together. Penelope Lumley, who in book 5 was shipped off to a beet farm in Plinkst, is our plucky heroine. Time's running out: if Penelope doesn't manage to get back to her three wolfish charges before Lady Constance gives birth to the new Ashton heir, all their lives are in danger, thanks to an old family curse. Of course, England isn't all that easy to get to from Russia, especially when the beet harvest is failing and governesses haven't been paid, but Penelope is a Swanburne girl to the core and has her most audacious plan yet... There aren't that many surprises, as many of the puzzles started unwinding a couple books ago - and actually, I preferred earlier books, when it first became evident that there was an elaborate backstory just under the surface - but the characters by now feel like old friends, and loose ends are tied up in a satisfying but not saccharine way. The madcap adventures also seem to be on a slightly larger scale, extending to the Imperial Russian Ballet and Queen Victoria and hot air balloons. As usual, the plot depends heavily on coincidences and makes no real attempt at plausibility, but the writing is easily what I like best about the series; it's a particular mixture of sly, tongue-in-cheek, and knowing. I often find its mangled literary allusions and non sequiturs laugh out loud funny, and I wonder if it might actually hold more appeal for adult readers than children. Anyway, this is a really fun series that ends on a high note; definitely recommended for anyone who was sad about the way A Series of Unfortunate Events failed to resolve many of the mysteries it had set up.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Miss Penelope Lumley is stranded in Plinkst. How will she protect her dear Incorrigibles from the villainous Edward Ashton? Will she ever return to Ashton Place? And what of her parents? Where are they? What is the origin of the phrase 'a bun in the oven?' Fear not, dear reader. All shall be answered in good time. This is the satisfying conclusion to The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. There are so many captivating pieces to this series. A few that I will mention in this review are Miss Penelope Lumley is stranded in Plinkst. How will she protect her dear Incorrigibles from the villainous Edward Ashton? Will she ever return to Ashton Place? And what of her parents? Where are they? What is the origin of the phrase 'a bun in the oven?' Fear not, dear reader. All shall be answered in good time. This is the satisfying conclusion to The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. There are so many captivating pieces to this series. A few that I will mention in this review are: The Giddyup Rainbow book series, Simon Harley Dickinson (I love that name!), Bertha the ostrich, the many references to Shakespeare, and the quotes from the poem 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.' As I have mentioned in earlier reviews, the writing is clever and a brain like mine will have tons of fun making connections. If you listen to this on audio, be sure to keep the recording going all the way through the Acknowledgments. You will be glad you did. img src ="https://scontent.fmkc1-1.fna.fbcdn.ne...

  5. 5 out of 5

    tabascosauce

    I had a really hard time deciding what rating to give this book. It was hard, because it's the last book - but I'm not sure if it's the best...because I really liked the fifth, it was full of intrigue even if the ending was sad. But this one has a really good ending, so what can I say. That's why I'm giving the book 3.5 stars (rounding up to four). I think the thing I most enjoyed about this book was Simon and Penelope - but I also enjoyed Mrs. Penworthy. She was a fun, new character. I also though I had a really hard time deciding what rating to give this book. It was hard, because it's the last book - but I'm not sure if it's the best...because I really liked the fifth, it was full of intrigue even if the ending was sad. But this one has a really good ending, so what can I say. That's why I'm giving the book 3.5 stars (rounding up to four). I think the thing I most enjoyed about this book was Simon and Penelope - but I also enjoyed Mrs. Penworthy. She was a fun, new character. I also thought it was cute the way Lady C turns into a whole new person. I appreciated it wrapping everything up, but I kind of wish it had left some mystery. What I didn't like was that >> It took most of the book (all the way up to chapter 14) before Penelope is reunited with the kids again. At least the book started picking up speed before then...around chapter 10. >> I also don't like how she still quotes Agatha Swanburne every chance she gets. >> I find it weird that she's still working for the Ashtons as governess for the Incorrigibles if (view spoiler)[the Incorrigibles now have parents (so why aren't they living with them) and if she's their older sister. Kind of weird for the governess to be related... (hide spoiler)] but that's kind of minor, no big deal ish. >> My least favorite thing about this book, though, was how HARD Simon had to work with Penelope - she just can't take a hint! and that once they agree to stick together and take Bertha back later, that nothing happens. They just sit there, happy, while Simon tells the little kids a story. Yawwwwn, maybe a peck on the cheek at least? I don't love romance, but I was confused like ik she likes him because it's her pov, but if I were Simon I would have NO. CLUE! which made it feel not quite as authentic as it could. If I had been this vague, the guy pursuing me would just give up and move on to someone new bc it would look like I wasn't into him. >> I didn't want Edward to get away. I wanted revenge! :P Disappointing. These books are always hard for me - the beginning is boring, the ending is interesting. And it's hard to get into. Thankfully, once I've gotten into them, I'm into them. It just takes ten chapters. Anyway, hope you enjoy the book more than this review, which shouldn't be too hard!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Daphne

    This was the final book in the series, and also one of my least favorites. It was nice to see everything wrapped up, but a lot of it just felt too convenient and bit disappointing. I feel like the series overall suffers from dragging on the mystery for too long, which makes the reader expect more of the reveal. Still a cute series with witty writing and charming characters but the plot leaves something to be desired. This also felt a little less exciting and fast-paced, it was difficult to keep This was the final book in the series, and also one of my least favorites. It was nice to see everything wrapped up, but a lot of it just felt too convenient and bit disappointing. I feel like the series overall suffers from dragging on the mystery for too long, which makes the reader expect more of the reveal. Still a cute series with witty writing and charming characters but the plot leaves something to be desired. This also felt a little less exciting and fast-paced, it was difficult to keep my attention on the book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Great book and satisfying wrap up. I loved the character development.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wilkey

    What a beautiful conclusion to this wonderful series. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute. So happy to have a satisfying conclusion that remained true to the spirit of the series. The wit, charm, and heart of both the characters and the writing make this one of the best series for children (ahem, and adults) that I have ever read. These books have greatly added to the culture of our family as jokes, educational tangents, and other moments from them have become part of our shared vocabulary. Thank What a beautiful conclusion to this wonderful series. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute. So happy to have a satisfying conclusion that remained true to the spirit of the series. The wit, charm, and heart of both the characters and the writing make this one of the best series for children (ahem, and adults) that I have ever read. These books have greatly added to the culture of our family as jokes, educational tangents, and other moments from them have become part of our shared vocabulary. Thank you, Maryrose Wood! We can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    For such a great series, The Long-Lost Home fell flat. It was nice to wrap everything up, but the last book and this book could have been edited into one. This book dragged, which was disappointing when the previous books were fast-paced adventures. This was more a 2-star book but I do love the characters.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kaarin

    This book started rather slowly for me, but soon gained its footing. I found this to be a satisfying conclusion to an enjoyable series. Like the other books in the series, it is full of pithy insights, clever puns, stock characters, unlikely coincidences, and plot twists. Ultimately predictable? Perhaps. But still lots of fun. This entire series has been elevated by the work of Katherine Kellgren, and her work as reader was the reason I made myself wait to enjoy each new installment of the seri This book started rather slowly for me, but soon gained its footing. I found this to be a satisfying conclusion to an enjoyable series. Like the other books in the series, it is full of pithy insights, clever puns, stock characters, unlikely coincidences, and plot twists. Ultimately predictable? Perhaps. But still lots of fun. This entire series has been elevated by the work of Katherine Kellgren, and her work as reader was the reason I made myself wait to enjoy each new installment of the series until the audiobook was available. I was SO SAD to see that she was not the reader on this last book (and to hear of her passing). However, Fiona Hardingham did a fine job and entered into the fun with gusto. I appreciate what she brought to the story.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stephi

    A satisfying conclusion.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Hull

    The last book hit more wonky notes than the first five, particularly in characters acting inconsistently, but it was still an enjoyable story. There was a lot of pressure after all of the time we had committed to the six book series, and perhaps that forced us to have too high of expectations, but the climax we had patiently waited for fell a little flat. I would still recommend this delightful series.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Almira

    In the previous book (#5), our heroine, Penelope Lumley is "kidnapped" by the terrible Russian family, the Babushkinovs, to become the governess to the most awful mannered, unkind children, 12 year Veronika (spoiled rotten!) and 8 year old twins, Boris and Constantin (brutes of the 1st degree). While on the "homefront" of Ashton Place, Constance Ashton is very close to giving birth to the heir of Lord Fredrick, and the dastardly "curse" is coming upon them. Lord Ashton's father is scheming in mo In the previous book (#5), our heroine, Penelope Lumley is "kidnapped" by the terrible Russian family, the Babushkinovs, to become the governess to the most awful mannered, unkind children, 12 year Veronika (spoiled rotten!) and 8 year old twins, Boris and Constantin (brutes of the 1st degree). While on the "homefront" of Ashton Place, Constance Ashton is very close to giving birth to the heir of Lord Fredrick, and the dastardly "curse" is coming upon them. Lord Ashton's father is scheming in more ways than one to put an end to the "curse" by horrific means. It is up to Penelope to figure out how to escape the clutches of the Babushkinovs and return home to prevent the evil Edward Ashton from pulling off his caper. Lots of excitement follows Alexander, Beowulf and Cassiopeia, Old Tim, Simon Harley-Dickinson, Miss Charlotte Mortimer as the days draw closer to the fateful event. Hot air balloons, baked goods, beets, fishing boats, Queen Victoria make up part of the adventures. Maryrose Wood is a marvelous story teller, she uses lots of Classical Literature references and humor. Her trusted audiobook reader, Katherine Kellgren, is mentioned in the end acknowledgments, be sure to read this. No spoiler, however, this is the last of the series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amy Meyers

    I absolutely love this series. This book gets four stars, because the beginning in Russia makes the reader squirmy, hoping Penelope can quickly get back to England (LOVED the part with Tolstoy!), and I wasn't as satisfied with the ending of the curse as I'd hoped I would be. But overall, such a joyful series. Penelope's pluck and determination and Swanburnian character are a true example to everyone. I will read (and listen...to the ones narrated by Kellgren...she was so wonderful and I absolute I absolutely love this series. This book gets four stars, because the beginning in Russia makes the reader squirmy, hoping Penelope can quickly get back to England (LOVED the part with Tolstoy!), and I wasn't as satisfied with the ending of the curse as I'd hoped I would be. But overall, such a joyful series. Penelope's pluck and determination and Swanburnian character are a true example to everyone. I will read (and listen...to the ones narrated by Kellgren...she was so wonderful and I absolutely missed her for the sixth book!) again someday! The kids also finished listening to book 1 on Oct 18.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heather Walter

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Overall, a good read. I thought it was a lovely resolution at the end. I was disappointed in the complete character change for Penelope to have lied to make her way out of Plinkst, but my son didn't seem to mind that. Overall, a good read. I thought it was a lovely resolution at the end. I was disappointed in the complete character change for Penelope to have lied to make her way out of Plinkst, but my son didn't seem to mind that.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Danica

    I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a series in quite the same way that I did this one. My whole heart loves this perfect and quirky little series. I also loved that this book was dedicated to Katherine Kellgren because the series would not have been the same without her narration ❤️

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    "The children never troubled themselves about whether they were fixable or not, as they did not consider themselves broken in the first place. You may decide for yourself what to think about it, but it is worth remembering that often people who are told they need fixing are perfectly fine as they are. It is our own narrow notion of how things ought to be that is truly in need of repair." And so I've reached the end. Six Incorrigible books down, #1, #3 & #5 got four stars from me and #2, #4 & #6 "The children never troubled themselves about whether they were fixable or not, as they did not consider themselves broken in the first place. You may decide for yourself what to think about it, but it is worth remembering that often people who are told they need fixing are perfectly fine as they are. It is our own narrow notion of how things ought to be that is truly in need of repair." And so I've reached the end. Six Incorrigible books down, #1, #3 & #5 got four stars from me and #2, #4 & #6 were five star reads. This series is so very wonderful! I highly recommended for fans of middle-grade and historical fiction, who love admirable characters, mystery, adventure and a good laugh. When I read The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (#1) I said that Wood's writing teetered on the edge of annoying, I am now firmly enamoured by this style of storytelling. How we switch back and forth between two different locations in this one, the glimpses into side character's lives, humorous historical references, the values of our main characters, Swanburne inspo sprinkled throughout, the character development and plot revelations. Again I love Lord & Lady Ashton, particularly at the end when (view spoiler)[ Frederick stays for the labour & tells Constance she's radiant, and it describes her as "the person who had been bravest of all that day. Clearly she had bravery left to spare." YES! (hide spoiler)] . Simon and Madam Ionesco are ridiculous and brilliant. Penelope, Alexander, Beowulf and Cassiopeia are the best. Throughout this entire series I was slightly worried about the finale as I had no evidence that Wood could handle a good & proper ending (the other books end great, don't get me wrong, but they work as a unit with so many questions throughout, plus that cliffhanger in book 5). I am relieved and very happy that all my doubts were unnecessary. The adventures were exhilarating and the ending SO GOOD. The Long-Lost Home warmed my entire being to it's very core. The sweetest thing. ... "No one believed a word the twins said, so they felt no obligation to tell the truth, and they were always being punished, so there was no need to behave themselves in the first place." "There is an old saying that advises us to "look before you leap," but to leap without looking is not nearly as bad as to look, and look again, and never work up the courage to leap at all." "In this quiet way, a change in the lady's thinking took place. Not all at once, with shouted arguments and a big to-do, but in the more usual way people change- bit by bit, starting with a tiny, acorn-sized willingness to try something new, followed by patient repetition, until what once was so uncomfortably foreign and strange no longer feels strange at all." "The great plot twists of life will arrange themselves as they see fit, regardless of how much fretting and planning one does in advance. This is not cause for alarm. Quite the opposite; it is a comforting reminder that worrying serves little purpose. Worse, it takes up valuable time that could be better spent reading novels, taking walks in a shaded park, having friends over for tea and biscuits, and any number of equally pleasant pursuits." My reviews for the other books in this series: The Mysterious Howling The Hidden Gallery The Unseen Guest The Interrupted Tale The Unmapped Sea

  18. 5 out of 5

    raffaela

    I promised I would review this series (why I'm doing the series as a whole and not book-by-book will become apparent in a moment), so here we go. And without spoilers too! The series tells the story of three children who, before their recent adoption into the wealthy Ashton family, were raised by wolves and of their plucky governess Penelope's attempts to educate them while also trying to figure out the mystery behind their background (and her own). This basic premise takes them on many adventure I promised I would review this series (why I'm doing the series as a whole and not book-by-book will become apparent in a moment), so here we go. And without spoilers too! The series tells the story of three children who, before their recent adoption into the wealthy Ashton family, were raised by wolves and of their plucky governess Penelope's attempts to educate them while also trying to figure out the mystery behind their background (and her own). This basic premise takes them on many adventures throughout nineteenth-century England, enough to fill six books-- and the mystery (or mysteries) aren't finally solved until the last book, though there are plenty of clues sprinkled throughout the series. That is one of the main problems (if it is a problem?) with this series: each book, by itself, is only one part of the whole story and has too many unresolved questions at the end to stand on its own, especially the earlier ones. That quibble aside, there are many good things about this series. First is its celebration of family, friends, learning, and the simple, good things of life. One of the main themes of the series is how a severed family is an awful (even cursed!) thing, and on the flip side, how a reunited and whole family is one of the best things. Friends, too, are seen as invaluable (and there are many wonderful secondary characters who serve in this role). Finally, Penelope's high valuation of learning and her constant attempts to instill that value in her pupils makes for a book that places curiosity, wonder, learning for learning's sake, and an appreciation and gratefulness for the beauty of the world on a high pedestal. The books embody the quote "It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." Secondly, the atmosphere and tone of these stories are delightful. Wood masterfully mixes elements of nineteenth-century England with the more fanciful or fairytale-ish to make a story that, if it stretches strict believably at times, is a blast to read. The author's tone, too, is delightful and keeps the story from being too heavy-handed or sorrowful. I've seen the series compared to Lemony Snicket, but they have a lighter and more hopeful tone overall. Indeed, one of the repeated mantras is "No hopeless case is truly without hope." My only other quibble with the series is that it contains a soothsayer character who claims to be able to communicate with the dead and does a seance at one point (and she is important plot-wise). Because of that, I wouldn't give this series to young children. (Although, oddly enough, "Providence" is mentioned several times in the last book as being responsible for orchestrating events in the protagonist's favor). Overall, this is a very good series. Not on par with The Chronicles of Narnia or even The Wingfeather Saga, but pretty close to the latter! I liked it at least as much as The Mysterious Benedict Society, well enough to add the books to my Christmas list and want to re-read them someday. Highly recommended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I don't know much how to review this book. It was what I expected, but not what I expected. I felt like people and places where in the right spot at the right time...though...there was really no explanation why they where there or a reason how they where in the exact place needed. For example: when Simon somehow came across Old Tim. How in the world did Simon get to the exact same place as Old Tim? Or when Penelope somehow was able to get away with every little detail to get back to Ashtons plac I don't know much how to review this book. It was what I expected, but not what I expected. I felt like people and places where in the right spot at the right time...though...there was really no explanation why they where there or a reason how they where in the exact place needed. For example: when Simon somehow came across Old Tim. How in the world did Simon get to the exact same place as Old Tim? Or when Penelope somehow was able to get away with every little detail to get back to Ashtons place- booking into a fancy hotel with the excuse of the Queen, escaping Russia, and somehow finding her family. I also felt that characters stretched there characteristics to do things that did not seem like them. For example when Penelope was leaving Russia. Her personality is a loyal lady...which I did not seem was displayed in this section of the book. Lastly I felt that there was just to much info to fit into one book(which is why I personally think things happened the way they did..to fit it all in one book). I feel that two books could focus on getting Penelope back to England in a more "realistic" way and then focusing on the Ashton curse. Now you may look at my rating and wonder why it is a 5 star when I am stating things I did not like. This is why.....I LOVED this book. I felt like it was an amazing ending to this series. Even though there where somethings that I personally did not like...the book was filled with just what I wanted to end this series. I am very pleased and so happy I read these books!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katriel

    A marvelous conclusion to this series, even if a bit anticlimactic. I feel like there should have been something a little more intense at the end, (considering all the drama and mystery in the first 5 books) but I did appreciate the themes of compassion and forgiveness that Wood chose to highlight in the last couple chapters. Maybe that was the point. Maybe after all the mysteriousness, and fear, and sadness, and pain, it was only fitting that the ending would be small and sweet, as the character A marvelous conclusion to this series, even if a bit anticlimactic. I feel like there should have been something a little more intense at the end, (considering all the drama and mystery in the first 5 books) but I did appreciate the themes of compassion and forgiveness that Wood chose to highlight in the last couple chapters. Maybe that was the point. Maybe after all the mysteriousness, and fear, and sadness, and pain, it was only fitting that the ending would be small and sweet, as the characters choose to forgive and let go of past animosities. In conclusion, I think the series is marvelous. Funny and sweet, at times absurd, with a dash of mysteriousness, this is a grand adventure well worth embarking on. . . . [A bit of warning, the main plot in this series is centered around a curse and heavily features a soothsayer, talk of "beyond the veil", mentions of people dying gruesome deaths and then coming back from the grave, etc. I thought it was all dealt with quite well and tactfully. Personally, I wasn't bothered by it, but for some it might be a problem.]

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Being stuck in bed with pneumonia means you get some reading done. Sheesh. I don't know what was sadder, the bittersweet ending to the book (and series) or the lovely little blurb from the author about the lady who narrated the audiobooks. As for the book itself, what a grand way to end the series. The adventure from Russia back to England was fraught with deus ex machina at every turn and it was great. Of course Penny has the best luck, she's from the best side of the split! A lovely tale that h Being stuck in bed with pneumonia means you get some reading done. Sheesh. I don't know what was sadder, the bittersweet ending to the book (and series) or the lovely little blurb from the author about the lady who narrated the audiobooks. As for the book itself, what a grand way to end the series. The adventure from Russia back to England was fraught with deus ex machina at every turn and it was great. Of course Penny has the best luck, she's from the best side of the split! A lovely tale that had such an awkward start - the first book was pretty dull by comparison - but the series progressed nicely. Another great series that begs to be read out loud just so you can try out lots of voices.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Misti

    Plucky governess Penelope Lumley is exiled to Russia, while the Incorrigible children are back at Ashton Place, at the mercy of the enigmatic Edward Ashton. Moreover, the curse on the Ashton family seems to be coming to a head. Will all of the disparate elements come together in time? This book does a good job of tying up all of the loose ends of the series. If you’ve enjoyed it up to this point, you should find this a satisfying read. It’s been a while since I read the last book, so some of the Plucky governess Penelope Lumley is exiled to Russia, while the Incorrigible children are back at Ashton Place, at the mercy of the enigmatic Edward Ashton. Moreover, the curse on the Ashton family seems to be coming to a head. Will all of the disparate elements come together in time? This book does a good job of tying up all of the loose ends of the series. If you’ve enjoyed it up to this point, you should find this a satisfying read. It’s been a while since I read the last book, so some of the details were a little hazy — I recommend having the other books fresh in your memory, if possible.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    A fine ending to an enjoyable series. A back cover blurb sums it up perfectly: "Jane Eyre meets Lemony Snicket in this smart, surprising satire." Our Jane Eyre stand-in, governess Penelope Lumley, finds herself exiled to Russia and spends most of the book on a quest to return to Ashton Place to protect her young wards, the mostly-reformed-but-still-a-touch-feral Incorrigible children. What I didn't love was our young heroine reveling in felony-level fraud as part of her escape from Russia. That d A fine ending to an enjoyable series. A back cover blurb sums it up perfectly: "Jane Eyre meets Lemony Snicket in this smart, surprising satire." Our Jane Eyre stand-in, governess Penelope Lumley, finds herself exiled to Russia and spends most of the book on a quest to return to Ashton Place to protect her young wards, the mostly-reformed-but-still-a-touch-feral Incorrigible children. What I didn't love was our young heroine reveling in felony-level fraud as part of her escape from Russia. That does not seem like something a Swanburne girl would do. That misstep aside, I love the constant humorous digressions to define words and idioms or discuss poems, plays and novels.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe

    3.5 stars I liked this less than the previous books maybe because it was so much longer and complex and ridiculous, but still fun and heartwarming! I struggled through the Russia scenes because of the dubious morality shown by Penelope. I understand that the author was trying to show her as courageous and clever, but it felt a bit scheming to me at some points, like Penelope lost the pure-heartedness she showed in the previous books. Still I am happy that the mystery of the Incorrigibles has been 3.5 stars I liked this less than the previous books maybe because it was so much longer and complex and ridiculous, but still fun and heartwarming! I struggled through the Russia scenes because of the dubious morality shown by Penelope. I understand that the author was trying to show her as courageous and clever, but it felt a bit scheming to me at some points, like Penelope lost the pure-heartedness she showed in the previous books. Still I am happy that the mystery of the Incorrigibles has been solved. The book still made me smile with its tongue-in-cheek humor and life lessons inserted in between. Wonderful series and a solid ending book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Wolgemuth

    This is a solid conclusion to a wonderful series as loose ends are drawn together in clear, satisfying ways...and yet it doesn't quite have the full whimsy and entertaining absurdity of the other Ashton Place books. Also, while Fiona Hardingham does a lovely job narrating the audio edition, she had humungous shoes to fill as Katherine Kellgren was masterful in the first five books in the series. Hardingham probably tried to match Kellgren's work rather than doing anything truly original, and she This is a solid conclusion to a wonderful series as loose ends are drawn together in clear, satisfying ways...and yet it doesn't quite have the full whimsy and entertaining absurdity of the other Ashton Place books. Also, while Fiona Hardingham does a lovely job narrating the audio edition, she had humungous shoes to fill as Katherine Kellgren was masterful in the first five books in the series. Hardingham probably tried to match Kellgren's work rather than doing anything truly original, and she does a good job.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kim N

    I read this series aloud to the girls over the last year. The stories were different from the usual fare and very enjoyable. I loved the way the author used great vocabulary and threaded all kinds of educational topics into the stories (We took the opportunity to study The Raven by Poe, etc). BUT I did not like being strung along for six books to find the answer to the mystery! Could have wrapped this up in a couple of books for sure.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karen Newberry

    That sad feeling when you finish a series that you’ve loved for so long...I have it. This quiet and silly story about the adventures of three wolf children and their governess has made me happy since I began it eight years ago. Think a Flava de Luce with less poison and murder. Fantastic audiobook productions. Through all six books. Listen to the author’s tribute to the original narrator at the end of The Long-Lost Home. Yes, it’s a series you will find in the Children’s section of your library That sad feeling when you finish a series that you’ve loved for so long...I have it. This quiet and silly story about the adventures of three wolf children and their governess has made me happy since I began it eight years ago. Think a Flava de Luce with less poison and murder. Fantastic audiobook productions. Through all six books. Listen to the author’s tribute to the original narrator at the end of The Long-Lost Home. Yes, it’s a series you will find in the Children’s section of your library but I’ll hazard a guess that you will enjoy it thoroughly if you like capers, mysteries, Victoria period stories, and squirrels. On to the next series...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Leskey

    Just quite nearly brilliant, I think, when you add it all together and divide by who knows what. I like the way that this all ends, with spoiler already knowing spoiler and a spoiler spoiler. Admittedly, there were some parts of this tale which seem doubtful, but when one makes careful calculation, it kind of makes sense, what.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joannemarie O'Donnell

    Like all the other books in this series, I really enjoyed this. I've been waiting for this book to come out and was saddened that it came out after the passing of the woman who beautifully narrated all of the audiobooks in this series. I was really touched by her tribute to Ms. Kelgren, and glad that she did get to read the end of the story before her untimely passing. I highly recommend this series. Like all the other books in this series, I really enjoyed this. I've been waiting for this book to come out and was saddened that it came out after the passing of the woman who beautifully narrated all of the audiobooks in this series. I was really touched by her tribute to Ms. Kelgren, and glad that she did get to read the end of the story before her untimely passing. I highly recommend this series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    So glad to be finished with this series! This book had too many inconsistencies and too unbelievable in parts. My kiddos and I (read the book aloud to them) feel like this series could’ve been finished in 4 books and not 6. The last 2 books have not been as interesting.

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