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|Keeping the castle : a tale of romance, riches, and real estate|
Author: Kindl, Patrice
In order to support her family and maintain their ancient castle in Lesser Hoo, seventeen-year-old Althea bears the burden of finding a wealthy suitor who can remedy their financial problems.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 7.20
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 152682
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 9.40
Points: 15.0 Quiz: 58104
Common Core Standards
Grade 8 → Reading → CCR College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading
Kirkus Reviews (04/15/12)
School Library Journal (00/06/12)
Booklist (+) (04/15/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/06/12)
The Hornbook (00/09/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/15/2012 *Starred Review* Seventeen-year-old Althea Crawley is facing a plight familiar to characters in Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle (1949), Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and PBS’ Downton Abbey: “Perhaps one day women might be able to choose their husbands with no thought of money and position, but not in this day and age in Lesser Hoo, Yorkshire, England.” Althea is on a quest to marry rich so that she may secure the family’s only inheritance, a dilapidated castle on the edge of the North Sea. She also bears the burden of supporting her widowed mother, four-year-old brother, and two sour, wealthy stepsisters, who refuse to contribute financially to the household. Marriage prospects in tiny Lesser Hoo are slim, to say the least, until dashing and wealthy Lord Boring arrives on the scene. Matters are further complicated by a revolving cast of potential suitors, including Lord Boring’s cousin, Mr. Fredericks, who is the Mr. Darcy to Althea’s Elizabeth Bennet. As with any respectable story set in England in the nineteenth or early twentieth century, the ending is jam-packed with revelations, only some of which are surprising. In her first novel in a decade, Kindl (Goose Chase, 2001) writes with sharp, effervescent, period-specific language that is so spot-on readers may find themselves adopting a British accent. This witty take on classic Regency romances is frothy fun for YA Anglophiles. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2012 Beauty is seventeen-year-old Althea’s greatest asset, and she knows that she must use it to secure not only her future but also that of her impoverished genteel family, their crumbling, beloved castle, and the household staff. Given the scarcity of promising marital candidates in their rustic northern county, it’s no surprise that Althea and her two unpleasant stepsisters are delighted when the new young Lord Boring brings a small party with him when he takes his seat at nearby Gudgeon Park. Althea immediately captures the fancy of His Lordship, and their growing bond is only spoiled by the constant presence of his opinionated cousin, Mr. Fredericks, with whom Althea repeatedly spars. Kindl puts her literary heart on her sleeve for all to see here: this is no parody, but an Austen revival written from love and knowledge by an author whose precise formality of diction has tied her to earlier eras all along. The author is clearly sensitive to differences between then and now that sometimes puzzle modern readers of period material, and narrator Althea helpfully but unobtrusively foregrounds aspects of her situation that would have been tacitly understood in Austen’s day. Fans of costume dramas and novels of manners will recognize touches of other influences (Downton Abbey, for instance, and even Miss Manners) as well as clear Austen homages (the book employs an inverted version of the Emma device about confusing admiration for a painting’s subject with admiration for the painter). Those deft and playful technical achievements are all in service of a very satisfying story that allows Althea to get what she really wants and not just what she thinks she wants, while along the way showing her deeper strengths and an appealing wit. This is a perfect stepping stone to Austen for readers afraid of classics, and it will also delight lovers of Cooper’s A Brief History of Montmaray (BCCB 11/09) as well as Austen fans themselves. DS - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2012 Gr 7 Up—This droll tale set in 19th-century England will earn smiles of recognition from those familiar with Pride and Prejudice. Althea Crawley's only hope of saving her family and their castlelike home from their state of genteel poverty is to ensnare a wealthy husband using the two sole tools at her disposal: her youth and her beauty. The 17-year-old soon sets her sights on dashing Lord Boring, but obstacles arise, including her scheming stepsisters and Boring's seemingly boorish cousin, Mr. Fredericks. Though the bulk of the action revolves around socializing-visits, picnics, riding parties-these events are infused with enough drama and social maneuvering to keep the plot moving smoothly. Witty dialogue, particularly the barbed exchanges between Althea and Mr. Fredericks, recalls Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy's sharp banter but will also be accessible to readers who have not yet encountered Austen. Kindl uses sly humor to take aim at societal customs and standards. For example, Althea questions a rich suitor about why her appreciation of his wealth is mercenary while his enjoyment of her physical beauty is admirable. Althea is a worthy heroine with sharp-eyed views on matrimony that set her apart from more typical dewy-eyed protagonists. The dilapidated castle setting, the Crawleys' desperate circumstances, Althea's amusingly wicked stepsisters, and a touch of romance all bring this archly humorous story to vivid life. A treat for both fans of Austen and newcomers alike.—Mahnaz Dar, formerly at Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.