Saturday, April 28, 2012

Keeping the Castle! Read it!

Sunrise was at 6:01, Sunset will be at 8:14.  It's gray and the air is pretty wet this morning.  I'm going off to Elliott Bay Bookstore to listen to the Random House book representatives talk about their favorite books coming in the next season. I'm going to walk, carry my umbrella, and work at getting to those elusive 10,000 steps!

Later:  I just finished reading Keeping the Castle, by Patrice Kindl, author of Owl in Love; absolutely the best way to spend a couple of fine misty hours on a Wednesday when I don't want to look for a job.

Completely charming, Keeping the Castle takes place in the regency era and features 17 year old Althea, her family's hope for saving the castle her father built.  Althea has the formidable task of trying to find a wealthy husband so they can keep the land and castle intact, a husband willing to share his fortune with her. Unfortunately, Althea has no qualms about saying what she thinks and often ends up driving off more beaus than she keeps.

Althea is a woman ahead of her time with only the resources of her time.  She is outspoken, smart, able to take care of herself and her family, strong-willed, and ready to challenge the ways in which she and the rest of her sex are treated and thought of. She is poor, but beautiful, and would be a catch for any man willing to engage with a woman of her talents.  Her beauty is all most of the men courting her see and it is all they ask she bring with her to a marriage.

You'd think this is a well-worn path in literature (definitely thinking of Pride and Prejudice) but it still continues to delight its readers. The poor but smart girl, the hapless suitors, the one easy-going wealthy mark, the unwilling friend who comes along, the star-crossed relationships...add in a serious dose of humor, misunderstandings, eyes met across the room and simple brushings of hands or feet and you have a great way to spend the afternoon.

Oh, by the way, you adults out there?  You will LOVE THIS BOOK!  Take a weekend and read these three books all together.  What a good way to spend a cool, wet weekend:  Brief History of Montmaray (a fabulous series of books, 14 and up, maybe?), by Michelle Cooper and I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith (a book for adults that teens will enjoy). 

(Keeping the Castle:  Ages 12 and up.  Viking.  Available June, 2012.  $16.99.)

(Absolutely no remuneration received for discussions of any book in this blog.)

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