Currently I'm a librarian and before that I was an archaeologist, a journalist, and definitely a bit of a world traveler. I tend to mostly read science fiction and fantasy, though I do love a good mystery and I'm a bit of a book dabbler overall. I've been doing Goodreads for awhile, but a friend thought I might enjoy this as well. Let's see, yeah?
I quite enjoyed this audiobook of an older children's story. One really neat thing about it is that they had the author's daughter read the book and she gave a bit of an introduction that explained how the book started out as a parody of popular tragic orphan stories of the time. However, real life tragedies intervened and Aiken no longer had the desire to write about them in farcical form -- it became a more serious book.
The book is short and can be easily listened to within a single wortk day.
Now I wouldn't be surprised if "A Series of Unfortunate Events" and other such stories are based on this one...
The book does have a dated feel with the girl protagonists somewhat helpless and later rescued by a boy their age and grown men. One of the little girls is fiery, but somehow is never able to execute her plans on her own. Additionally, she really IS pretty spoiled, so you'd almost sympathise with the villain if she weren't evil.
Anyway, so, basic summary: evil governness does away with the parents of a rich girl and then sends the girl and her cousin to a work house disguised as a school while the governess takes over the house and fortunes. Adventures happen and, in the background, is a pack of fearsome, fearless wolves (who I wish showed up more often).
This is the first in a series and I am curious as to what happens next... Too bad the rest aren't audiobooks.