Althea is seventeen and the only hope for her entire family. If she doesn’t marry well, her mother and brother stand to lose everything, which isn’t much. The family lives in a crumbling castle near some cliffs with Althea’s two (sort of) evil stepsisters. While Althea is very beautiful, it’s more complicated than that: there are very few wealthy suitors to choose from, and even fewer handsome ones. Then Lord Boring arrives and sets all the eligible women in town into a flurry of flirting. To complicate things, Lord Boring’s friend and business manager Mr. Fredericks seems to tag along to all the events and outings, and he tends to cause trouble wherever he goes.
A delight of a book, Kindl’s Regency-set romance is a witty, frothy good time. Kindl has crafted a strong, smart heroine in Althea, who wants to have adventures but fully realizes she will have to marry for money. She loves her family but recognizes that they’re mostly useless, and as a result, she has to be the strong one. Althea’s smart, funny (really, really funny) narration propels this sweet little book. Although it’s largely predictable, it’s also incredibly fun.
There’s a lot of silliness to be found within the pages of Kindl’s breezy novel. The characters are charming and funny, and Kindl’s gentle mocking of the Regency-era tropes adds a layer of entertainment to the already compelling story. Althea’s attempts to attract a suitor are engaging and very funny. Readers will be as enamored with her as her eventual marriage prospect is.
Funny, witty, and satisfying. This is a great, sweet historical romantic comedy. Teens looking for clean, clever reads will gobble this one up. Recommended especially for fans of Jane Austen.
Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl. Viking Children’s Books: 2012. Library copy. Read for 2012 Cybils Round 1 Panel.