The Wide Window

Author: Lemony Snicket
Series: A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Book 3
Publisher: Harper Collins
Star Rating: 3/5
Date Read: March 24th, 2014
Read Count: 2
I couldn’t believe it when, staying the night at my boyfriend’s, I reached into my bag for large, well-thumbed (despite only being the first reading) copy of War and Peace – only to find it wasn’t there. Great. I loathe being without a book. I had trains to catch the next morning, for crying out loud! Couldn’t believe I’d done something so rookie-like as to forget to pack a book. Off to the boyfriend’s bookshelf it was (even though I also don’t like starting a new book when I’m in the middle of another).

I had read some of A Series of Unfortunate Events as a child but had never finished because my library stopped at a certain installment (I can’t even remember where). My boyfriend, however, has the complete series and last year I’d read the first two books again with the intent to finally finish the series. With so much else to read, it didn’t happen. So this was the perfect opportunity to knock over another book in the series.

At the beginning of The Wide Window we meet up with the down on their luck Baudelaire children as they are waiting to meet the next in their string of guardians, Aunt Josephine, who lives in a house balanced precariously on the top of a hill overlooking Lake Lachrymose. Sounds fun and exciting and like a new adventure? It’s not. The Baudelaire children are filled with a terrible sense of foreboding and you would be too, knowing their unfortunate history. Aunt Josephine is terrified of everything, including the door mat, the telephone, cooking and, of course, Lake Lachrymose where her husband Ike was eaten by leeches. The Baudelaire children are trying to settle into a new life when, surprise surprise, Count Olaf turns up again.

These books are the gloomiest kids books I think have ever been published but I can’t help but enjoy them. I don’t want the Baudelaire children to be miserable (what kind of horrible person would?) but Lemony Snicket’s wonderful prose makes you feel like you’re being told a story that you don’t want to end. I need to go back and pick the next book off the shelf, if only War and Peace wasn’t calling me back! I promise myself, though, that I will devote time to make it to end of this series to find out exactly what does happen to the Baudelaire children.

If you want your kids to read a range of stories, and not always ones with happy endings, but with an original and interesting storyline, I would definitely introduce them to Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events. And maybe you should read along too, you might just enjoy it!


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