"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review: Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl

Keeping the Castle is a Regency romance by Patrice Kindl told in the voice of Althea Crawley, a seventeen-year-old beauty who lives in Crooked Castle with her mother, young brother, and two step-sisters. Finances are bad and Althea knows that she must use her beauty to make an advantageous marriage. The castle, which is precariously situated on the Yorkshire cliffs, is falling apart and Althea desperately wants to repair the castle so that her brother, Alexander, has something to inherit. Fortunately there are plenty of eligible bachelors nearby: The Marquis of Bumbershook, Lord Boring, Mr. Godalming, and Mr. Hugh Fredericks. Whom should she choose? Or better asked, who will choose her?

There is little doubt right at the outset of the story that things are going to end well, but this upbeat little story has plenty of fun and lighthearted moments in between.

I was all prepared to give this book a neutral to bad review.  It is so silly and trite.  And what is with all the weird names?  I could never figure out if Kindl was using them as a play on words or not.  Other reviewers have mentioned the similarities to Austen novels. It also brought to mind I Capture the Castle by Bette Smith, from which this book seems to have borrowed a few themes. It doesn't seem like this book should even be mentioned in the same breath with these two classics.

But after closing the book, with a big smile on my lips, I thought perhaps it wouldn't kill me to say a few nice words about this book, too.  It is silly,  but also sweet and often funny. While Austen's characters usually take themselves very seriously, Althea doesn't.  It is as if she knows that everything will end well even when circumstances appear bleak.

Next I thought about my library users.  Most of them cannot make themselves read Austen or Smith, even if they try. They won't have the same problems with this book.  Here is a Regency romance packaged for today's readers. Nothing wrong with that.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review! :D

    Here's mine if you don't mind: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2013/12/keeping-castle-by-patrice-kindl.html

    Thanks and have a nice day!


I look forward to your comments and interactions! Join in the conversation.