It’s only been eight days since the start of Lent, but I’m definitely starting to feel the withdrawals from normal reading. I know because last night I went on a Goodreads binge and downloaded American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld onto my iPad. But I promise I won’t read it until Easter!
For now I just get to remember books I’ve read, starting with Keeping the Castle. I don’t read a lot of YA, as you probably know. I’m definitely more into literary fiction, classics, memoir, non-fiction, theology, etc. But every once in a while I just need to be entertained. I just want to read something funny and interesting. I just want a glimpse into another world. That’s what Keeping the Castle did for me.
Spunky seventeen-year-old Althea is the main provider for her mother and four-year-old brother. They live in a dilapidated, wannabe castle called Crooked Castle with her two step-sisters, who are rich but refuse to use their money to help with the Castle’s maintenance. Althea knows she needs to marry rich to save the castle. Her handsome neighbor Lord Boring seems like the answer to all of her problems, and he obviously likes her, but his awkward friend Mr. Fredericks keeps getting in the way. Though she finds him annoying, she likes that he treats her as an equal and proves a match for her witty tongue.
Through a series of hilarious, bumbling events, we come to find out that Lord Boring is actually broke and Mr. Fredericks is the financer of everything Althea admired. Althea must swallow her pride and admit that she does in fact admire Mr. Fredericks—and not just for his money.
This is definitely a cute story in the tradition of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and other Victorian dramas. Kindl makes small attempts at feminist undertones, but they are not well developed and ultimately bear no significance for the characters and plot. That was a little disappointing, but I still enjoyed the book. Definitely a great way to spend an hour or two.