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 keeps getting in the way. And, as it turns out, Fredericks has his own set of plans . . .
Keeping The Castle is one of the best historical fiction novels I have read in quite some time. It’s full of romance, bickering, matchmaking, and humor. It’s the perfect read for a rainy day.
Althea is the backbone of her family. She knows she is the strongest of them all and the only one who can keep them all fed and a roof over their heads. She takes it upon herself to marry someone rich and she won’t settle for less. When Lord Boring moves into a residence nearby she sets out to catch him but it seems like everyone else has plans to keep them apart. Especially Lord Boring’s cousin, Mr. Fredericks.
Althea is hilarious. She has not had an easy life but she has managed to hold onto her humor and her wit. She plots crazy things, tries to matchmake where there is no attraction whatsoever, and manages to insult people every time she opens her mouth. She is the most lovable character ever! And the best thing is that she deeply cares for her family. She’s a wonderful daughter and sister. She’s extremely loyal and caring.
The rest of the characters are just as funny. Mr. Fredericks is absent-minded and contradictory. He and Althea do nothing but bicker. Lord Boring is surprisingly not at all boring. He’s a complete gentleman and very kind. Alexanda, Althea’s little brother, is a troublemaker but a total sweetheart. Prudence and Charity are kind of like evil stepsisters but very comical. And then there’s the puppy! Fido! Boy did I love him. So cute!
The story is fresh and full of twists. Once the story picks up it’s impossible to stop reading. There definitely isn’t a lot of action or suspense but that doesn’t matter. The story is gripping and readers will love the characters. It’s impossible to stop reading until you know if everyone gets their happy ending.
Overall, Keeping The Castle is a definite must-read for historical fiction fans. It’s such a cute book! I have to check out Patrice Kindl’s other books now.
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