Title: Keeping the Castle
Ten years is waaaay too long to wait for a new book from Patrice Kindl. I can’t believe it’s really been that long. Anyhow, Keeping the Castle was well worth the wait. In a nutshell, it’s a cross between Pride and Prejudice and I Capture the Castle.
Althea is 17 years old, and the financial future of her family rests on her slim, elegant shoulders. In order to provide for her sweetly ineffective mother and maintain the crumbling family home for her four-year-old brother, not to mention her selfish and miserly stepsisters, Althea must marry – and marry quite well. Fortunately, she is considered to be an exceptional beauty; unfortunately, marital prospects are slim in their remote corner of England. The future brightens quickly when Lord Boring and his entourage arrive in the neighborhood, but Althea’s campaign does not go exactly as planned.
If you’ve read as many Regency romances as I have, you won’t find the plot to be terribly innovative. However, Althea is a charming and witty protagonist. Her observations on the pragmatic business of marriage and her increasingly desperate efforts to bring Lord Boring up to scratch are thoroughly entertaining. Despite the fact that Althea’s original plans do not succeed, the story ends happily for everyone – well, almost everyone – and it kept me smiling the whole way through.
-Lisa, Teen Librarian