At last! I finally ordered this the end of last month and finished it while flying to and from Ohio early this month. I enjoyed it, but I was disappointed that Dido Twite wasn't a character in this story. Oh well, Bonnie and Sylvia had some pretty interesting adventures.
The two cousins (one a sweet but high strung personality and one a gentle, timid orphan) are left at Willoughby Chase while Bonnie's parents take a sea voyage for her mother's health. Sylvia leaves her Aunt Jane behind in London to move to the Chase. Even if this book was written for children ages 9-12, anyone any age can enjoy Miss Aiken's writing. She puts her characters in situations that reveal their true colors and does a great job of developing them, even characters like Bonnie's father, who isn't in the story much. You understand he's a kind, loving father but distracted enough with his wife's illness that his judgement is a little off when he asks a distant relation he doesn't know to come and watch the Chase and the children. Miss Slighcarp plots to take over the estate completely. She and her gang of bullies are the real wolves featured in this story, although there are real four legged ones running around the place too and the girls and their friends have some narrow escapes. This is a very enjoyable story with heroes, villians, plots, escapes, cruel situations, and happy endings. The next book in the series is Black Hearts in Battersea, where I believe Dido makes her appearance. Can't wait to get to it!