Getting in trouble here isn’t like getting in trouble at home.

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls - Claire Legrand,  Sarah  Watts (Illustrator)
“Victoria Wright had only one friend, and he wasn’t even a real friend; he was a project, someone to fix and whip into shape.”

So, when Lawrence disappeared one day, Victoria missed him terribly much although she refused to admit it – at first. Also, she started questioning things when no one seemed to bother with Lawrence’s disappearance. In fact, they didn’t seem to remember him. Her investigation led her to Nine Silldie Place or what was known as The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls where she met Mrs. Cavendish and her gardener, Mr. Alice. Plot began to thicken up once Victoria talked to Mr. Tilbat, whose friend, Vivian Goodfellow never returned from the Home after she went inside to investigate. Vivian’s final fate was revealed in the end and it was not pleasant at all. I really liked her character from the little that I’ve seen of her.

Anyway, Victoria too ended up being taken by Mrs. Cavendish after the woman deemed Victoria as being too nosy. At the home, Victoria was reunited with Lawrence and some of the other missing children. She also met gobers, some kind of helpers for Mrs. Cavendish. Mrs. Cavendish hated the gobers and the reason was revealed together with the origin of the gobers. It was horrible and macabre. I think it was the sickest part of the story. The children, besides being submitted to rigid rules and severe punishments, were also made to attend pointless lessons and recited sentences like below.

“Children, whether they are boys or girls, educated or ignorant, must be as silent as possible as much as possible. Children are neither clever nor experienced enough to judge for themselves what is and what is not to be said. They must therefore and at all times defer to the wisdom of their elders. They must never speak out of turn. They must never be contrary. They must be extraordinary without being out of the ordinary.”

Victoria sometimes annoyed me but she was also charming and I can’t help but smile at some of her behaviors. Her bossy attitude was also not unlike mine so yeah… She said things like “I swear on my academic reports.” and actually being serious about it too! Her interaction with Lawrence was sweet, funny and endearing. It was amazing too the length she would go to find Lawrence considering that she was no rule breaker and always strove to be the perfect daughter as well as student. She took her name very seriously and used it as a motivation to be the top in everything along with her wishes to make her parents proud of her.

Overall, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls was a creepy book. The ending particularly crept me and I shuddered to think of the fate of the children in Belleville especially with Victoria, Lawrence and the rest of the children who remember the Home were grown up and already gone from the town.