Title: Keeping the Castle
Author: Patrice Kindl
Publisher: Viking (Penguin)
Length: 261 pages
Althea is only seventeen, but she needs to marry well to keep up the decrepit castle built by her great-grandfather, and to support her widowed mother, young brother, and two step-sisters. Luckily, Lord Boring and his annoying cousin and business manager Mr. Fredericks come to Althea’s town of Lesser Hoo and make things interesting.
The flap copy promised this book would be “I Capture the Castle meets Pride and Prejudice” (both wonderful books). While I saw traces of these books in Keeping the Castle, mostly it was Emma, Cinderella, and more Emma (that’s Clueless for my readers who grew up in the 90s). While Althea is scheming to find herself a rich husband, there’s a lot going on around her that she doesn’t notice, and the schemer gets schemed, but with a happy ending of course!
My biggest complaint is that Althea is so concerned with keeping the castle for the sake of her younger brother, who rarely appears in the novel. He’s constantly overshadowed by a cute puppy, leaving Althea’s motives a bit in question.
Ms. Kindl is no Jane Austen, but her writing is fun and light, and she mixes in modern ideas for her old-time characters to consider for the benefit of her contemporary readers. As Mr. Darcy would say, it’s tolerable. No, that’s too harsh. I did enjoy reading this book, it was easy to pick up and put down and read while I had time.