“The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” by Joan Aiken


I read Joan Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase as part of my Summer of Shelf Discovery Readalong. It’s one of the books from Chapter 9, “Old Fashioned Girls,” of Lizzie Skurnick’s reading memoir Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading.

From Laura Lippmann’s essay in Shelf Discovery:

Wolves has everything. A high-spirited rich girl (Bonnie Green), her virtuous poor relation (Sylvia Green), a tragic shipwreck, an evil governess, loyal retainers, an uncannily clever and gifted goose tender, a horrible boarding school–run by Mrs. Brisket no less, who rewards snitches with little pieces of cheese. And I’m not even going to tell you how the geese foil a dastardly crime. (354)

And Lippman’s list doesn’t even include big bad wolves, a big bad man, a kindly poor relation in a garret and a sympathetic adult. Wolves does indeed have lots crammed into its few pages, and its a rollicking read. I was reminded of Jane Eyre, Turn of the Screw, A Little Princess, and more. I’m sad I didn’t encounter this one as a child, but happy that I’ve read it now. I look forward to passing it on to my boys, 6 and 9 years old.

2 Responses to ““The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” by Joan Aiken”

  1. hopeinbrazil Says:

    We loved this book as a family read-aloud. I’ve heard mixed reviews about other Joan Aiken titles. Will you be reading others?

  2. girldetective Says:

    Hope, I was surprised to see it listed as the first in the Dido Twite series in the back of the book as in: who the heck is Dido Twite and how can this be part of that series when there is no Dido Twite in this book? I don’t know if I’ll seek out others in this series, but I did get a very nice edition of the collected Armitage Stories, The Serial Garden, and plan to read that. http://www.amazon.com/The-Serial-Garden-Joan-Aiken/dp/1931520828/ref=tmm_pap_title_0