This was a sweet little book about three young children who were found by a man and his young, new wife. The children had been living wildly and alone in the woods of their estate in England. The couple has no knowledge or evident ability to care for them although they have the money to provide care for them. They dub the children "The Incorrigibles".
Penelope Lumley is a recent graduate of The Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females. She is 15 and has no place to go now upon graduation until she is hired by Lord Frederick and Lady Constance to work for them as governess to the children.
The story is lighter than Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events (I've read all of that series) but is written with a similarly advanced vocabulary. The language used does tend to be period language from the early to mid 1850s. Wood's style is gothic in nature. Romance and horror both abound; the story jumps easily back and forth between the two. Penelope's gentle awareness of the children's needs is quick to follow and avert any threat of horror.
Word of warning: (possible spoiler)
At one point in the story several men grab guns and head to the woods to hunt for the children. While this sounds very scary the story progresses well and quickly so that there is not a long amount of worry over what will happen.
Due to the possible scare factor I would suggest that people consider a pre-read of this before allowing very young children to read it. Our 9 and 10 year olds could handle reading it. I am thinking back on it and think that I could read this to our 5 year old without her being upset by it.