by Maryrose Wood
First sentence: "But the workman swore the repairs to the house would be finished by now!"
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When we last left our stalwart heroine Penelope and her wild charges, they were adjusting to life at the majestic Ashton Place. Unfortunately, that wasn't going to well, and after a disastrous (this book, mush like the first book, makes me want to use grand adjectives) Christmas party, Ashton Place is in much need of repair.
Three months later, those repairs still aren't finished, much to Lady Constance's dismay. So, she (upon the suggestion of our fair Penelope) up and moves the whole household to London for a while. Whereupon, many adventures ensue, including (but not limited to) encountering a prophesying gypsy, going to the zoo, luncheon at a very posh restaurant, attempting to ride a bicycle (or a velocipede, as Penelope seems to call it), and attending the opening night at a West End play. So none of those sound terribly exciting, but with Penelope and the Incorrigibles, what is generally mundane always takes on an air of excitement.
Much like the last book, this one is full of wit and humor in the form of incredibly hilarious asides. (Additionally: inventing new words like "optoomuchism", what happens when one is overly optimistic.) Also like the last book, there are many questions here that are still not being answered, though, almost infuriatingly, there are clues. I feel like I have the puzzle pieces (more of them anyway), and if I could only figure out how they go together, I could see the big picture. (I wonder if this would be as infuriating for kids as it was for me?) It wasn't enough for me to completely lose interest in the book, but I am starting to wonder if it wouldn't be best just to wait out the writing of the series, and then read them all back to back.
That way, at least, I'd have the answers to the puzzle.