Series: Keeping the Castle #2
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers on July 14th 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction
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The eagerly awaited companion to the award-winnng Keeping the Castle.The Winthrop Hopkins Female Academy of Lesser Hoo, Yorkshire, has one goal: to train its students in the feminine arts with an eye toward getting them married off. This year, there are five girls of marriageable age. There’s only one problem: the school is in the middle of nowhere, and there are no men.Set in the same English town as Keeping the Castle, and featuring a few of the same characters, here’s the kind of witty tribute to the classic Regency novel that could only come from the pen of Patrice Kindl!
A School For Brides, the companion to Keeping the Castle, is an adorable read. Having read Keeping the Castle, I was intrigued enough to come back to this setting once again. While A School For Brides can definitely be read as a standalone, it reminded me why I enjoyed Keeping the Castle so much.
Like I said, this can totally be read as a standalone. I read Keeping the Castle a few years ago and I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read since that time so it’s not like that story was fresh in my mind when I started this one. I only very vaguely recalled what happened and the characters from that story only make a couple appearances throughout A School For Brides. This story focuses on a new cast of characters and they are quite a mix!
The girls at the Winthrop Hopkins Female Academy of Lesser Hoo, Yorkshire are technically there to be educated and trained in the arts that they will require to run a household. They all know they are really there to find husbands though. That’s harder than they imagined though since Lesser Hoo only has one eligible bachelor and he’s not one that anyone is terribly interested in marrying. That all changes though. When an accident causes a young bachelor to break his leg and be forced to move into the Academy, he brings some friends along and the young girls at the Academy suddenly have quite an array of men to choose from.
The girls were all extremely unique. Some of them were younger and didn’t play a huge role in the story but their antics were cute. The older girls who were of marrying age were determined to make something out of all the young men suddenly in Lesser Hoo. Each girl really found her match in some way or another. The men and women varied from incredibly intelligent to rather clueless. However, each one had something different to offer the story. Some of them were clearly there for humorous reasons and they definitely played their parts well. I found myself giggling a time or two while reading A School for Brides.
The story really reads like a Jane Austen novel or something similar to that. It’s definitely historical fiction, that’s for sure. I got a bit annoyed with all the talk of how women were inferior and only required to run a household once they got married. I understand that that is how people saw things back then but it was a bit repetitive. There were definitely some girls at the Academy though who put that idea out of their minds and did what they wanted. I appreciated that.
Also, while it is a story about girls searching for husbands, it’s not really a romance. Being set in the time and location that it is, romance was very different. It’s nothing like a romance today. It was very chaste and slow moving. Like I said, very much like a Jane Austen novel. The romance aspect was extremely cute though so I liked it.
Overall, A School for Brides is perfect for fans of historical fiction and Jane Austen novels. It was fun seeing the cameos from Keeping the Castle and I enjoyed revisiting Lesser Hoo. If you ever get the chance to read these books, I would recommend them.
What others are saying about A School for Brides:
The Psychotic Nerd’s review: “This was a very quick and easy read with charming fun!”
The Book Cellar’s review: “A School for Brides is an absolutely charming read that captures everything I love about a good historical fiction read.”
And if that’s not enough to convince you, check out this super cute limerick from the author!
Once there was a girl with a brain,
Stuffed to the brim with knowledge arcane.
She spoke Latin and Greek
(These days we’d call her a geek)
And she dwelt on a cerebral plane.