Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Keeping the Castle

This small (in size) book may a perfect beach read for the summer or fireplace read for the fall.  A little irreverent homage to Jane Austen this book is just delightful!

Seventeen year old Althea must find a rich husband so she can save the family manse.  Located on a cliff on the North Sea the house is crumbling and threatening to fall into the sea.  Crawley Castle was built by Althea's grandfather who had no structural nor architectural sense but plenty of money.  The house has been in a constant state of repair since it was built.  Althea's mother  (Mrs. Winthrop) has survived 2 husbands.  Her first husband, Althea's father simply didn't have enough money but he had property. Mrs. Winthrop's second husband died shortly after the marriage leaving her with 2 evil, ugly step daughters and pregnant with a son. Winthrop also left all his money  (he had money but no property)  to his daughters leaving Mrs. Winthrop no money and the falling down house.  Hence Althea's situation.

There are simply not a lot of eligible men in Lesser Hoo.  Then  Lord Boring buys a local estate, fixes it up and moves to the country.  He arrives from London with his mother and friends, including his loathsome business manager, Mr. Fredricks.    Boring throws a ball and Althea decided to try and snag Lord Boring, but Fredricks has other ideas.  The story romps through the country ball, the near death experience of the Crawley castle heir, Alexander (4 years old), and various schemes to marry everyone off to someone with greater social position and or wealth.

Charming, delightful and an easy read.  Pour something cold and sit down and read this book!

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