Thursday, June 28, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl

I’ve been in the mood for some YA historical fiction, something light and fun, so I broke out my recent purchase, Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl. This is billed as a cross between I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and Jane Austen. Since I’ve always been a fan of Austen and recently read and absolutely loved I Capture the Castle, I couldn’t pass this one up.

It is a Regency romance and does borrow somewhat (but not too much) from the plotting of Dodie Smith’s book. The seventeen-year-old protagonist, Althea Crawley, is a young lady of good birth but no means who lives in a rundown castle with her widowed mother, her young brother, and two nasty stepsisters. Althea has to marry well or the castle is likely to fall down around them before her brother will come of age to inherit. Luckily, Althea is extraordinarily pretty and is quite sure she can marry well, eventually. Unfortunately, the supply of eligible suitors in Lesser Hoo is quite limited,

Her chances improve when Lord Boring comes to claim a neighboring manor upon the death of his uncle. It turns out Lord Boring is young, charming, and naturally very rich. Althea decides to marry him. He seems to be taken with her good looks, just as she intends. However, there are a few difficulties. First, one of her stepsisters is equally determined to snare him. Second, a guest in his home, Miss Vincy, appears to have a prior claim on him. While she is plain (and Lord Boring has expressed a distaste for her appearance), she is very wealthy, and Lord Boring’s mother favors her. And finally, there is Mr. Fredericks. This is Lord Borings cousin and business manager. Antisocial and blunt to the point of rudeness, Althea has to put up with him, too, if she wants to spend time with Lord Boring.

The book is fast-paced and cute. The plotting is pretty predictable since it was a romance/comedy of manners that revolved around Althea and her sisters plotting marriage. It was entertaining and the ending satisfied all around. This would be particularly good for younger YA readers who like historical fiction.


  1. I love the sound of this one so much (also love the cover!) It sounds like just the kind of the book I like that will leave me smiling.

  2. That's quite a billing to live up to - a cross between Austen and I Capture the Castle! It sounds like a fun read for a summer day, I'll keep an eye out for it.

  3. Nice review! :D

    Here's mine if you don't mind:

    Thanks and have a nice day!