This series is entirely too much fun. I originally picked it up as a paired new YA novel with Jane Eyre as part of the awesome Sync audiobook program. It's a good initial match in plot and setting: an orphaned English girl leaves her boarding school to start her first job as governess. But from that point things veer sharply into delicious ridiculousness. Miss Penelope Lumley's charges were literally raised by wolves, but the unflappable young lady simply draws upon her veterinary skills and tames them with large doses of kindness and a pocketful of biscuits.
Anyone who grew up reading numerous stories starring intrepid English youth will be stepping into a world of nostalgia, but there's plenty to keep the story fresh and interesting. There's wordplay, literary references, random historical asides, and a zoo of colorful characters. The audiobook is a top notch performance in its own right; Katherine Kellgren perfectly matches the exuberant, over-the-top tone of the story that doesn't even attempt to take itself seriously.
I'm really looking forward to sharing this one with the kids in a few years.