“Clearly, optimism can be a very fine trait, with the power to turn lemons into lemonade, apples into blackberries, and so forth. But just as a scrumptious tarte Phillipe will cause the most dreadful tummy ache if eaten in excess, too much optimism can plunge one into the precarious state of mind known as ‘optoomuchism.'” (181-182)
– The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Hidden Gallery, by Maryrose Wood
This is the second book in the Incorrigible Children series and it does not disappoint! All the characters continue to grow (except for Lady Constance, bless her heart), along with the general plot and mystery that surrounds these wild (though now very tame) youngins, Miss Lumley, and Lord Ashton.
In this book I believe that Miss Lumley handles herself and the increasingly strange happenings surrounding herself and the children rather well. She stays true to her Swanburne upbringing (she recalls her class, “Do Not Panic: A Swanburne Girl Always Keeps Her Wits About Her” when faced with her first unpleasant experience in London) and does not let the uncontrollable throw her off her game and composure – very admirable. The children are still their typical half wild/ half tame selves, though they seem to be coming along very nicely in their studies. Her wonderfully erratic internal commentary and general pluckiness does not change or become diminished in this book, which was one of the characteristics that made me love the first book so much.
The setting has changed since the first book – it’s in London (as noted before)! Before it was at Ashton Place in the country. The change of setting adds lots of funny action to the story and serves as a hearty source of clues to the ongoing mystery of where the children came from and what on earth is going on with their story. The reader will also be introduced to another, new, character that fits right in with Miss Lumley and the children.
The quote mentioned above is my personal favorite from this book. It’s still very true to this day, but written so splendidly that I simply had to share it with y’all.
If you have read this book please share your favorite quote! I would love to talk with you about the many and various quotable lines from this book (or even the first book! I’m not getting picky).