Keeping the Castle
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Keeping the Castle

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  2,863 ratings  ·  844 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Althea is the sole support of her entire family, and she must marry well. But there are few wealthy suitors--or suitors of any kind--in their small Yorkshire town of Lesser Hoo. Then, the young and attractive (and very rich) Lord Boring arrives, and Althea sets her plans in motion. There's only one problem; his friend and business manager Mr. Fredericks...more
Hardcover, 261 pages
Published June 14th 2012 by Viking Childrens Books
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Khanh (Kittens, Rainbows, and Sunshine)
“I love you, Althea—you are so beautiful,” murmured the young man into my ear.
I looked up at him from under my eyelashes. “I love you too,” I confessed. I averted my gaze and added privately, “You are so rich.”
Unfortunately, I apparently said this aloud.
Well, at least she's honest.

This book is reminiscent, however briefly, of Jane Austen's Emma, ruined by a love triangle and no romance. It is just darling, there are funnily "posh" names like Bumbershook and Throstletwist, a "Crooked Castle" wit...more
Emily May

It's as if I've been on a constant downer lately, I even manage to find bad stuff to say about books I really enjoyed and I'm starting to wonder if the problem is my own. That's why I'm being unusually generous and giving a book that never really grabbed me and one I struggled to finish three stars. Not because I've just decided to change what I personally require for my ratings, but because I wonder if some of my inability to appreciate the humour and attempts at subtle irony in this book are...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Althea Crawley is on a mission, a mission to marry money. It is the only thing that will save her family from ruin and save Crawley Castle - or "Crooked Castle" as it's affectionately dubbed - from falling into its own kind of ruin. Whimsically and stupidly built at the edge of a cliff above the North Sea by Althea's great-grandfather, it is impractical, draughty, cold, leaky, uncomfortable and downright ridiculous; but it is her little brother's inheritance and the only thing left to the family...more
K.A. Barson
I dare you to read the first page and not laugh out loud. If you like Jane Austen and Downton Abbey, you'll love this book. The surface story is about a cheeky young English girl in the 19th century who wants to secure her position (and her castle home) by finding a proper husband. The problem is that she too often says what she thinks, and even though she is beautiful, she scares away the few prospects her little village in Yorkshire has. Sounds like other stories, doesn't it? Well, don't be fo...more
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single girl in possession of a deprecated Castle and lacking a fortune must be in want of a rich husband. Althea Crawley is a seventeen—year-girl who is the main support of her entire family, the effective head of their household and the only hope they have to keep their Castle for her younger brother. As such, she must marry well and soon. Unfortunately for the Crawleys, despite her unparalleled beauty, Al...more
Seventeen-year-old Althea Crawley, the heroine of Keeping the Castle, is in quite a bind. The family estate of Crawley Castle is quite literally falling apart. There is no money to repair it - Althea's father died, leaving the family nothing, and when her mother later married a rich man, he died just a few weeks later, before he could help repair the castle, and leaving two more mouths to feed - Prudence and Charity, Althea's wicked stepsisters. If there is to be anything left of the castle for...more
Jul 19, 2012 Wendy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Laurie, Susann, Darsa
Recommended to Wendy by: Sharyn November
It took me a very long time to warm to this book--fully half the book, I think. But once I got there, I warmed to it thoroughly and relished every delightful bit. I'm not a particular Jane Austen devotee, but this was enough Downton Abbey to satisfy (though a different era). The heroine was thoroughly unlikeable at first, but once she makes a female friend she becomes endearing--and I love that it's that making the difference. I could see where the plot was going immediately, but didn't quite kn...more
A charming little book, very much in the style of an Austen novel. I keep seeing it called a combination of PRIDE & PREJUDICE and I CAPTURE THE CASTLE, which is very accurate, though Kindl certainly brings her own clever writing and plotting to the board.
Jennifer Bell
This book is not going to keep you up at night, nor is it going to change your life. It won't make you think deep thoughts, or make you laugh out loud on every page. It probably won't make you cry either. If it does, well, I find chocolate always helps that.

There are a lot of things this book is not. Kindl isn't trying to be the next Jane Austen, and to say that this is a blatant ripoff (as I have seen in other reviews) is quite unfair. Keeping the Castle should be, in my opinion, viewed as a li...more
Clare Cannon
Jul 30, 2012 Clare Cannon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 14+ (females)
Shelves: 13-15yrs, young-adult

A brief but entertaining Austenian story about a quick-witted heroine, a not too sensible mother, two selfish step-sisters and the dilapidated castle in which they live. And, of course, the men they wish to marry.

While the backbone of the story is solid (along the theme of heart vs money) and the tone is witty and light, the novel is too short for any real development, making it a quick and satisfactory but not especially involved read. Most characters remain flat and stereotypical, perhaps wit...more
Jul 20, 2012 Miriam rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Fluff. Unsympathetic fluff, at that. I did not like Anthea, our "heroine" or care about her "plight" of not having enough money to support the desired lifestyle of the elite and having to get by with just her beauty, fancy house, loyal servants, and supportive mother.
Nov 20, 2012 Hallie rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
That two stars may seem, or even be a bit mean, but I'd have been more lenient had the book not aimed so high intertextually. I haven't read I Capture the Castle for a while, so am not totally sure how I'd rate it now, but I certainly remember the voice, which is wonderful. Even a good chunk of the people who dislike the book do it for other reasons, I'd guess. I found the voice here anything but captivating, and struggled for a bit until I came up with the word that best summed it up for me: co...more
Steph Su
KEEPING THE CASTLE is a quick, Austen-flavored story that you can breeze through in a few short hours. Is it a keeper? Well…I enjoyed the voice and the setup, but felt the story was too short to develop the characters and their predicaments into full and empathizable creations.

My favorite thing about KEEPING THE CASTLE was definitely its Austenian influence. Aptly described as a combination of Dodie Smith’s lovely I Capture the Castle (another book I loved) and Jane Austen’s works, KEEPING THE C...more
Monica Edinger
Just a whole lot of fun.
Kate Forsyth
I thoroughly enjoyed this light-hearted and utterly charming Regency romance. It has been described as a cross between Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle, two of my all-time favourite books. It's lighter and sweeter than either of these books, and much less serious in intent. The tone is comic, the characters are exaggerated for humorous effect, and the plot is one of mishaps, misunderstandings and muddles.

The heroine Althea Crawley is only seventeen, beauti...more
I started out loving this book. It's witty, playing off all the regency/fairy tale/Jane Austen tropes with sprightly verve. We have a crumbling castle, odious step-sisters (one with a penchant for decorating morbid quotes with sketches of death urns and wreaths), a Lord Boring, and Dr. Haxhamptonshire (which is pronounced Hamster), all gathered in the neighbourhood of Lesser Hoo, and the great house of Gudgeon Park.
It's delicious!
Our protagonist, Anthea Crawley, is beautiful, impoverished and...more
Like a bonbon, pleasant enough whilest one is indulging in it but ultimately full of empty calories. For my taste it was too predictable, too much "Austen lite" and I never found the heroine or hero that engaging. It's written pleasantly but taken as a whole I was underwhelmed.
Cover Blurb: It’s a pretty purple color, has a castle, and fancy writing - yep, I like it! The cover is what caught my attention when I first saw it at the library, and I continue to likes it’s simplicity. But it does hint at a far more serious story than it really is.

What I Liked: Althea at first comes across as kind of an unlikable protagonist. Her reasons for marriage are mercenary, she’s the county’s “pretty girl,” and in short shares a lot of similarities with Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse....more
Dec 04, 2012 Ed added it
Kindl, P. (2012). Keeping the castle. New York: Penguin/Viking. 262 pp. ISBN 978-0-670-01438-5. (Hardcover); $16.99.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a poor single teen girl in possession of a run-down castle must be in want of a husband. Readers familiar with Pride and Prejudice will find much that is familiar in this delightful Austen-like story of a pragmatic beautiful seventeen-year-old woman who is determined to marry money to save her castle home. Set in 19th century England, Alth...more
Jan 24, 2014 Elevetha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lovers of Regency set books and shows
3.5 stars.

Althea Crawley (Mmmmm, wonder where Kindl thought up that last name?) must marry. And marry well.

It's very fun, charming, lighthearted and a fast read. Almost a satire of the marriage\money situation that occurred back in the day. When financial troubles loomed on the horizon, it was usually up to one of the daughters to marry well. That is, to marry money. Probably not literally, though.

Having seen MANY adaptations and original period dramas; imagining the imagery of this book was not...more
Lydia Margaret
Book 23 of 52

I finished this book with a big goofy grin on my face and immediatly put it on hold at the library for my sister and two Austen-loving friends (I try to use my librarian powers for good :P). When I was explaining to my sister why I hacked her library account I didn't really have a particualrly good reason, the book isn't ground-breaking, it's not hilarious, and it very corny and extremely predictable... and that's excatly why I felt the nessesity in making all my Janeite friends rea...more
This book is toted as being for fans of I Capture the Castle and Pride & Prejudice. Since I like both of those books, I decided to pick up Keeping the Castle. It sounded cute. And it was quite cute. Even silly at times. So definitely not a book that takes itself seriously, which is fun to read every once in a while.

Honestly, I guess I could see the Pride & Prejudice similarities, but as for Althea herself, I saw her more as Emma. She definitely wasn’t an Elizabeth Bennett. Like Emma, the...more
The blurb on the cover compares this book to I Capture the Castle. The blurb on the back compares the author to Jane Austen. With expectations like that, disappointment was almost inevitable.

Here's how it's like I Capture the Castle: the main character lives in a rundown castle. The end.

Here's how it's like any Jane Austen novel: it's set during the Regency period. The end.

That's not to say it isn't derivative, though, because it very much is. There are two obnoxious stepsisters that are strai...more
Sophie Riggsby
* Review posted on Mundie Moms on 8/18/2012*

Oh Althea, I loved your character. I read my fair share of regency romances and I was excited to see a YA one with the promise of a funny take on some of my favorite plots. Patrice Kindl writes Althea with a spunk I adore in my Regency heroines. She’s desperately trying to keep up appearances in society while patching and mending their rapidly crumbling estate. As many girls of that time period, Althea knows th...more
I'll say right here at the beginning of this review that I have a special love for clean regency romances that are humorous. And this book definitely falls into that category. Althea made me laugh from the first chapter where she informs a suitor who is proposing to her that yes she will marry him, because he has money. He is insulted and storms off, despite the fact that he wants to marry her because she is beautiful. The interactions of Althea and Mr. Fredericks though are the best. They are s...more
Jul 20, 2012 Elaine marked it as unfinished
I did not finish this book because I found it inappropriate and not one I'd recommend to my daughters to read (which is why I read most of these books). The whole premise of the book is objectionable....a young girl (17) tries to find a rich man to marry to save the castle in which she and her family live. I was able to get past that though, but on page 3, there were the following sentences, referring to a man who had been about to propose to the heroine, "His gaze swept up and down my form, lin...more
Aug 22, 2012 elissa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to elissa by:
I've enjoyed all of the Kindl books that I've read. Never read any on a Kindle. :)

Love this, 4 1/2 stars for me, I think, so I'll round up (making this my first 5 star book of the year). Love the name of the town (Lesser Hoo), and the survivor of a main character who can't help putting her foot in her mouth, but is ingenious in getting what she needs, even if she doesn't always know exactly what that is. Really delightful and charming (as others have said). I'm missing Althea after finishing thi...more
Hannah Cobb
Pride and Prejudice meets a good dose of practicality in this lively, humorous tale of a young woman's quest for matrimony. Seventeen-year-old Althea--an acknowledged Beauty--has entirely reconciled herself to the thought of marrying for money. She has to, because without a dramatic infusion of funds her family's home, a falling-apart castle perched atop a cliff, will collapse around their ears. But Althea's attempts at romance continually run afoul of her common sense. Add in two interfering st...more
2.5 stars - meh

I picked this up because I remember seeing it on lists of 2012 and seeing some favorable reviews. Other reviewers have compared it to a Jane Austen/I Capture the Castle mix. While I like those two ever so more - I would depict this of a (slightly campy) parody that takes the stereotypes and situations and just pushes them a bit to the extreme. It's a clever twist. But I'm not one for camp, have never been. Don't think I ever will be. Not in Princess Bride, and not in Keeping the C...more
Lighthearted Jane Austenesque tale of a teenaged beauty in search of a husband who will be both rich enough to salvage her family's fallen fortunes and at least marginally tolerable to live with. Anyone familiar with stories of this sort will have an idea of how her quest is going to go long before she herself does, and because the author plainly had fun writing the story it's fun to read. I ended up wishing well of nearly everyone in the cast, and wouldn't turn down a sequel should Ms Kindl be...more
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Young Adult Histo...: Keeping the Castle - June 2013 4 17 Jun 17, 2013 05:14AM  
Mock Printz 2015: Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl 5 55 Jul 17, 2012 05:50AM  
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I was born in Alplaus New York in 1951, the youngest of four daughters. My father is a mechanical engineer, my mother a housewife. My family is very nice – I like them all a lot. As a child I loved animals and read obsessively.
We had (still have) a family cottage on Lake George. The people who live next door are life-long friends. On summer weekdays during my childhood there were ten fem...more
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“Let us agree that we are marrying so we can go on quarreling in the greatest comfort and convenience.

Oh, please, Althea, look at me. Do say yes.”
“As often is the case after a powerful, destructive storm, it was an achingly beautiful day. Even so late in the summer, I could still hear the occasional skylark singing, and the fields were speckled with red poppies.” 4 likes
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