Stuff and Nonsense: Keeping the Castle


8.09.2013

Keeping the Castle



I sighed. When would I learn to speak with a tactful tongue? There went another one. I kept forgetting how ridiculously sensitive and illogical men were. He assumed that his fortune would buy a beauty; I assumed that my beauty would procure me a rich husband. It seemed much the same to me, but evidently what was permissible in a man was not in a woman.

Ah well. There was yet time; I was but seventeen.

Althea needs to marry well to keep up the crumbling folly of a castle built by her great-grandfather, and to support her widowed mother, young brother, and two wealthy but parsimonious step-sisters. Luckily, Lord Boring and his (annoying/rude/infuriating ... we all know where this is going, right?) cousin/business manager, Mr. Fredericks, come to live nearby and suddenly life in Lesser Hoo is full of new possibilities. If only Althea’s two fabulously rich (and fabulously horrible) stepsisters don’t muck things up. And the castle doesn’t fall down before she can get married. And Mr. Fredericks, that jumped-up nobody, would stop being so annoying.

Delightful novel! Hilarious novel! Adorable novel! Stuffed with enough funny/sweet/romantic incidents to make any lover of light Regencies swoon, but not larded with unnecessary verbiage or plot points. Unlike some other Austen/Heyer homages I’ve read lately , I never felt as if I was reading my way through a checklist of Regency romance must haves -- the novel certainly owes a great deal to Austen and Heyer, but it feels more like a love letter to the two than something written to Make All the Monies.

And, oh! The character names! Such excellent and utterly ridiculous names -- Lord Boring, The Marquis of Bumbershook, Mr. Godalming (which I always read as Mr. Goddamning), Miss Sneech, and Greengages the butler.

Keeping the Castle: A Tale of Romances, Riches, and Real Estate by Patrice Kindl (Viking, 2012)

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