Keeping the Castle

( 14 )

Overview

Seventeen-year-old Althea is the sole support of her entire family, and she must marry well. But there are few wealthy suitors—or suitors of any kind—in their small Yorkshire town of Lesser Hoo. Then, the young and attractive (and very rich) Lord Boring arrives, and Althea sets her plans in motion. There's only one problem; his friend and business manager Mr. Fredericks keeps getting in the way. And, as it turns out, Fredericks has his own set of plans . . . This witty take on the classic Regency—Patrice Kindl's ...

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Keeping the Castle

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Overview

Seventeen-year-old Althea is the sole support of her entire family, and she must marry well. But there are few wealthy suitors—or suitors of any kind—in their small Yorkshire town of Lesser Hoo. Then, the young and attractive (and very rich) Lord Boring arrives, and Althea sets her plans in motion. There's only one problem; his friend and business manager Mr. Fredericks keeps getting in the way. And, as it turns out, Fredericks has his own set of plans . . . This witty take on the classic Regency—Patrice Kindl's first novel in a decade—is like literary champagne!

“If you’re a fan of I Capture the Castle you will love this sharply funny tale of courtship.  A delicious confection.”  — Polly Shulman, author of Enthusiasm

“Take one Austenian heroine in desperate financial straits.  Put her in a crumbling castle, give her two evil stepsisters and some very unsuitable suitors.  Make it funny!  Patrice Kindl’s Keeping the Castle is an absolute charmer!”  Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her first book in 10 years, Kindl (Lost in the Labyrinth) creates a sharp-witted comedy of manners set in 19th-century England that mirrors the narrative voice of Jane Austen. Seventeen-year-old Althea Crawley’s mission is to secure a husband rich enough to repair the family’s crumbling castle, since her wealthier live-in stepsisters aren’t much help. (They “did feel some obligation to contribute towards their upkeep, but the sum was ever in dispute, and tardy in payment.”) Althea’s best prospect for a suitable fiancé is newcomer Lord Boring, but much to her annoyance, at social outings and parties she finds herself paired with his brash and outspoken companion, Mr. Fredericks. The banter between Althea and Mr. Fredericks will clue in readers that they are, in fact, a perfect match, something it takes Althea a while longer to recognize. Althea’s tongue-in-cheek commentary regarding the selection of a suitor and her razorlike quips are abundantly entertaining, but it is the heroine’s remarkable ingenuity and compassion for loved ones—including her widowed mother, younger brother, and an artist friend, Miss Vincy—that make her so endearing. Ages 12–up. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—This droll tale set in 19th-century England will earn smiles of recognition from those familiar with Pride and Prejudice. Althea Crawley's only hope of saving her family and their castlelike home from their state of genteel poverty is to ensnare a wealthy husband using the two sole tools at her disposal: her youth and her beauty. The 17-year-old soon sets her sights on dashing Lord Boring, but obstacles arise, including her scheming stepsisters and Boring's seemingly boorish cousin, Mr. Fredericks. Though the bulk of the action revolves around socializing-visits, picnics, riding parties-these events are infused with enough drama and social maneuvering to keep the plot moving smoothly. Witty dialogue, particularly the barbed exchanges between Althea and Mr. Fredericks, recalls Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy's sharp banter but will also be accessible to readers who have not yet encountered Austen. Kindl uses sly humor to take aim at societal customs and standards. For example, Althea questions a rich suitor about why her appreciation of his wealth is mercenary while his enjoyment of her physical beauty is admirable. Althea is a worthy heroine with sharp-eyed views on matrimony that set her apart from more typical dewy-eyed protagonists. The dilapidated castle setting, the Crawleys' desperate circumstances, Althea's amusingly wicked stepsisters, and a touch of romance all bring this archly humorous story to vivid life. A treat for both fans of Austen and newcomers alike.—Mahnaz Dar, formerly at Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
A romp of a Regency romance told through the discerning voice of a witty teenage beauty whose family needs to her to marry for money. Lovely Althea Crawley, 17, lives with her kind but clueless twice-widowed mother in Crooked Castle, a drafty white elephant perched precariously on the Yorkshire coast. Althea's 4-year-old brother, who's heir to the castle, and her self-centered older stepsisters, Prudence and Charity, round out the household. With few funds to make ends meet, Althea, unlike so many fictional heroines who go off on unlikely adventures, accepts that she must marry for money. Prospects look up with the arrival in to the neighborhood of handsome young Lord Boring. When Althea launches her campaign, described in military terms, to secure his affections, not all goes as planned. As she pursues him, her occasional outspokenness raises a few eyebrows but also attracts admiration from an unsuspected quarter. Kindl respects the conventions of the genre while also gently mocking it. Althea observes, for example, that their ancient butler, Greengages, correctly pronounces the name of neighbor Doctor Haxhamptonshire as "Doctor Hamster." Readers will enjoy Althea's entertaining forays into the marriage market, secure in the belief that all will end well. While the happy ending comes as no surprise, the path to it is funny as well as satisfying, with many nods to Jane Austen along the way. (Fiction. 13 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670014385
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/14/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 321,868
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 1050L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrice Kindl (www.patricekindl.com) is the author of Owl in Love and Goose Chase as well as other award-winning novels.  She has shared her 1830’s home in a small village in rural upstate New York with a wide variety of creatures: a son, monkeys (she trained them to be aides to quadriplegics), birds, cats, dogs and hamsters. Her current household contains a singing, dancing, talking parrot, a faithful little black and brown dog, an old tiger cat and a very tolerant husband.

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Read an Excerpt

from Keeping the Castle

Chapter I
 
We were walking in the castle garden. The silvery light of early spring streaked across the grass, transforming the overgrown shrubbery into a place of magic and romance. He had begged me for a few moments of privacy, to “discuss a matter of great importance.” By this I assumed that he meant to make an offer of marriage.
            “I love you, Althea—you are so beautiful,” murmured the young man into my ear.
            Well, I was willing enough. I looked up at him from under my eyelashes. “I love you too,” I confessed. I averted my gaze and added privately, “You are so rich.”
            Unfortunately, I apparently said this aloud, if just barely, and his hearing was sharper than one would expect, given his other attributes.
            “I beg your pardon? You love me because I’m rich?”
            “Not only because of that,” I hastened to assure him. He also was reasonably amiable and came of a good family. He admired me and was apparently willing to overlook my lack of fortune, all points in his favor. And, yes, he was rich. Quite enough to turn the head, and the heart, of an impressionable and impecunious young girl such as myself.
            “So,” he thought this over, “if I lost my money you wouldn’t love me anymore?”
            “If I became ill,” I countered, “so that my hair fell out in clumps and my skin was covered with scabs and I limped, would you still love me?”
            “Egad!” He stared at me, evidently attempting to picture this. He turned a little green.
            “But,” I said, “Most likely those things will not happen. You are rich and I am beautiful. We should make an excellent couple. Our children will have my looks and your money.” At least, so I hoped. Only imagine a child with his lack of neck and my lack of funds! The poor man’s head looked exactly like a melon, or perhaps one of those large orange gourds from the Americas, bursting out of his cravat. And he had such big red lips, which he licked incessantly.
            We each were lost in our own separate thoughts for a moment, I, mourning the fate of these hypothetical offspring, he, as his subsequent commentary proved, considering the finer distinctions of desire and avarice.
            “It’s not the same thing,” he said at last, looking sulky. “Admiration of a woman’s beauty in a man is . . .” he waved a hand, searching for the mot juste, “it’s spiritual. It shows that he has a soul.” His gaze swept up and down my form, lingering regretfully on my bosom, which was exposed enough for interest and covered enough for decorum. He licked his lips. “But,” he went on, withdrawing his gaze, “any consideration of the contents of a man’s purse by a lady he is courting is—I regret to say this to one I held in such high esteem only a few short moments ago, but I must—it is mercenary and shows a cold heart. I must withdraw my protestations of ardor. Good evening to you.”
            He bowed, turned and stalked out of the garden. I sighed. When would I learn to speak with a tactful tongue? There went another one. I kept forgetting how ridiculously sensitive and illogical men were. He assumed that his fortune would buy a beauty; I assumed that my beauty would procure me a rich husband. It seemed much the same thing to me, but evidently what was permissible in a man was not in a woman.
            Ah well. There was yet time; I was but seventeen.

Copyright (c) Patrice Kindl, 2012

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    Awful

    This book was awful. I had to push my way to get through it and never developed a relationship with the shallow lead.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Terrible

    Mature content but written for a 10 year old. A mash up of Austen classics like pride and prejudice but completely butchered

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Okay

    I think its a Texas Bluebonnet, but there are a lot of grammer errors and the plot was unfocused.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Charming

    Well worth reading

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    IS IT WORTH READING?

    Is it worth reafing because i have to read it for school and i wanted to know if it was good
    Thanks for the advice

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Boring!

    This book was really boring. When I would read this I found myself drifting off in my own thoughts and had to really concentrate to get through a page in this book. The characters were very dull and so was the storyline. I would not recommend this book to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    I bought this book for my niece. We both enjoyed it. It's a very

    I bought this book for my niece. We both enjoyed it. It's a very funny satire for young adults.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    Beautiful. Just beautiful

    This book is almost like a Cinderella story but with a humorous and dramatic twist. Lots of descriptive wording. Reccomend for people(girls) aged 12+. Love it, hope you will too!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    I really loved this book. It was funny, witty and had good chara

    I really loved this book. It was funny, witty and had good characters (Mr. Fredricks was hilarious!).  And I loved the names of some of the people/places! It's a nice combination of some Jane Austen and Cinderella. I will say that it is definitely close to the line of young adult and adult, not for mature content, just that the writing is a little juvenile, but still great.Sure it's not the greatest thing you'll ever read, but it's without a doubt worth it. Keeping the Castle is a very cute and charming little novel and I recommend it.  

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  • Posted August 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    3.5 Stars I thoroughly enjoyed much of this book.  It had some

    3.5 Stars

    I thoroughly enjoyed much of this book.  It had some witty banter, interesting characters, and romance.  Although it has been said to be like Pride and Prejudice, there was also a Cinderella feel to it.  And how could I not love that one of the main character's name was "Lord Boring".  I laughed almost every time I read his name.  And the town in which they live was called "Lesser Hoo".  I felt like it might look like something from Dr. Seuss.  Of course, it didn't.  

    However, I did not like the way the book resolved.  I felt there should have been more dialogue and feeling expressed.  I wanted more romance at the end.  Oh well, I can't get everything I want.

    Warnings: None

    I would let my 12 and 15 year old daughters read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    I enjoyed this book. My favorite parts were the descriptions of

    I enjoyed this book. My favorite parts were the descriptions of the castle. I laughed out loud! Some reviewers say this book is great for 12 year olds, and I think a 12 year old would enjoy it. But I'm 28 and I, too, thought it was fun. I didn't notice any grammar errors. There must not have been enough to hinder the enjoyment of the reading. It might not be classic literature, but I don't think it claims to be. It's a fun, clean story, which is rare these days.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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