Author: Patrice Kindl
Published June 14th 2012 by Viking Childrens Books
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!Miss Althea Crawley is seventeen years old. She is very beautiful, and this benefits her well because she needs to marry a wealthy man and fast! Althea lives with her mother, younger brother, and two older stepsisters in Crawley Castle. Crawley Castle is sometimes called Crooked Castle given the fact that Althea's great-grandfather built the now crumbling structure on the side of a cliff overlooking the sea. It's all Althea can do to keep the structure together as well as her family. Once Althea's father died, she, her mother, and her brother were left with very little to live on, so you see Althea must marry into wealth to support her family. She has no other choice.
However, Althea's stepsisters, Miss Prudence and Miss Charity Winthrop, have an inheritance from their father, Althea's mother's second husband. Althea and her family were left with little yet again. Having rich stepsisters would ease the burden on the Crawley family, however, the sisters Winthrop don't see how they should give to the upkeep of the castle even when they reside there themselves.
As the story opens, Althea thinks she has finally found a suitable suitor in Mr. Godalming. He may be a horribly despicable man, but he is very wealthy. Althea makes the mistake of telling him that, so off he runs. She just can't seem to keep her thoughts to herself as a good wife supposedly should. All hope seems lost until Lord Boring arrives. One look at him and Althea has a new plan. Lord Boring is very handsome and very kind. He's also, it appears, very rich as he has just refurnished and moved into Gudgeon Park.
When Althea meets Lord Boring, he has eyes only for her. This should be an easy match in Althea's mind; however, Lord Boring's cousin and business manager, Mr. Fredericks is always around. This wouldn't be a problem except that he seems to have a problem with Althea. To be honest, she's not very fond of him either. Why can't things just be simple?
Will Althea snag her wealthy husband and possibly love too? Will her family finally be able to breathe easily knowing their future is secure? All these questions and more are answered in Patrice Kindl's delightful read, Keeping the Castle. Fans of Jane Austen will love it as well as fans of a good romantic comedy. A definite must read!
*reviewed by Casie, YA @ Cpl. J. R. Searcy Memorial Library