Skip to content

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Joan Aiken. Reviewed (words and pictures) by Banana Girl (9)

In the time when wolves roamed England ( during the reign of good King James III, a time that never really happened) there was a young girl named Bonnie who lives at Willoughby Chase. Her parents were going away for several months, so she would have her new governess to look after her. In the midst of London, Bonnie’s cousin Sylvia, who lives with the frail Aunt Jane, will come to live with Bonnie.

On the train ride to Willoughby Chase, a mysterious man shares the compartment with Sylvia, who, at the end of train ride is knocked unconscious by his suitcase, leaving Bonnie and Sylvia to take him to Willoughby chase, where they meet their new governess, a distant relative named Miss Slighcarp, who locks Bonnie in the cupboard, fires most of the servants and requires they only eat bread and gruel, before sending them to a work house run by Mrs Brisket, where punishments are things such as no food for three days! Not just that, but Miss Slighcarp is working on something much nastier than any of this…



Illustrations by Banana Girl

Entertaining and a good read, an amazing book set in a time when wolves and nasty governesses practically ruled England! Although it was a little irritating when Bonnie cries at something silly, I think overall, this is a very enjoyable book. I especially liked the bit when Mr Grimshaw ( the mysterious man on the train) breaks into Aunt Jane’s house!



3 replies »

  1. Thank you a lot Lizza for the really great comment, I will try and look out for one or two of your mother’s books, because they are different and rather interesting. I like the characters in this book, because they are all unique, and all have their own idea of what is what. My favourite characters are Bonnie and Simon, because they have different ways of living, and are complete opposites almost – yet are best friends!

    • Hi, very nice to hear back from you. I’d suggest trying the next book in the series Black Hearts in Battersea, where Simon goes up to London and meets all sorts of crazy characters, including a new friend – a girl called Dido Twite. I’d love to see your pictures of her!
      You can read about the series here:
      But as you’ll see she wrote a LOT of books so you’re sure to find something you like!

  2. Thanks for a great review Banana Girl, and I’m even more impressed by the illustrations! Such great details, the view from the cave of the frozen river, and that flying hairbrush – you really captured Bonnie’s passionate temper! Hope you don’t mind me re-tweeting? Maybe you’ll go far!

Let us know what you think! Do you have any book recommendations?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Mango Bubbles Books on

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.