I promised giveaways this month, and I’m keeping my promise. This time, I’m giving away a copy of a book I thoroughly enjoyed: “Keeping the Castle” by Patrice Kindl.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Althea bears a heavy burden on her slender shoulders. She must support her widowed mother, young brother, and two stepsisters who plead poverty — and she must maintain Crawley Castle, a tumbledown folly designed and built by her great-grandfather. Althea, in short, must marry well. But there are few wealthy suitors — or suitors of any kind — in their small Yorkshire town of Lesser Hoo.
Then Lord Boring comes to stay with his aunt and uncle. Althea immediately starts a clever, stealthy campaign to become Lady Boring. There’s only one problem; his cousin and business manager, Mr. Fredericks, keeps getting in the way. And, as it turns out, Fredericks has his own set of plans…
“Lord Boring.” Are you perhaps sensing that this book has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek?
Here’s a bit from the very first page:
“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…
No wonder Althea is having difficulty marrying herself off to a rich man. She doesn’t quite have the knack for it. All of her plans go delightfully awry and she stumbles and fumbles along the road to matrimony, but we are always on her side, never laughing at her, always rooting for her.
If you love Jane Austen, you will enjoy this as a young adult version of an Austen tale. In my Goodreads review, I described it as a perfect way to introduce teens to Austen, a way to ease them into the old stories which can be a little rough going (what with all the telling-not-showing and the conversations related by the narrator instead of heard, as it were, in real time). Are there some recycled ideas here? Heavens, yes, and that’s part of what’s wonderful about it: it’s as comfortable as old flannel pajamas but also as bright and shiny as new patent leather Mary Janes. With heels.
As with the last giveaway, comment here to enter for your chance to win. No requirements this time, but feel free to make a Jane Austen reference. Which is your favorite novel? Rank them, your favorite to least favorite (will anyone put “Mansfield Park” higher than fifth?). Have any of the retellings/adaptations/add-ons really captured your fancy? Which is the best movie version of an Austen novel (and let’s leave the 8 hour marathon of “P&P” out of this discussion)? Who makes a better Colonel Brandon, Alan Rickman or David Morrissey?
The window for comments closes one week from today, 11:59 p.m. on May 20, 2014, and I’ll choose a winner from the commenters on the 21st.