Keeping the Castle

Patrice Kindl, Author
Patrice Kindl. Viking, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-670-01438-5
Reviewed on: 04/23/2012
Release date: 06/14/2012
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4703-5281-3
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-101-57206-1
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-101-57141-5
Paperback - 261 pages - 978-0-14-242655-5
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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)
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