Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl
"Take one Austenian Heroine in desperate financial straits. Put her in a crumbling castle, give her two evil stepsisters and some very unsuitable suitors. Make it funny!" ~ Karen Joy FowlerHow could I pass that up? It was a fun read. It certainly wasn't written in Austen style but it was written to capture the same time period. I'm thinking I will let Sunshine read it if she wants to. The only thing that anyone might find even slightly questionable is one scene in the very beginning where one of Althea's unsuitable suitors looks at her in a lecherous manner.
"His gaze swept up and down my form, lingering regretfully on my bosom, which was exposed enough for interest and covered enough for decorum. He licked his lips. "But" he went on, withdrawing his gaze..."I didn't mind the scene so much as this suitor turns out to be the kind of person you would expect that behavior from. What I did mind is another "blurb" from the front cover...
"A book as frothy and fizzy and light as a champagne cocktail --- think I Capture the Castle meets Pride and Prejudice!" ~Polly Shulman
Frothy, fizzy and light are all apt descriptions of this story. I guessed correctly how it would end by Chapter Four but I still enjoyed reading it. But WHY must every book nowadays be compared with a classic? Sunshine read one recently that was supposed to be a "new Narnia for the tween set" and it was a terrible disappointment. It seems like a cheap and easy marketing tactic that I wish would soon die out. Let a new book stand on it's own! Propping it up on the back of a classic is just going to set it up for a harder fall and make me even more skeptical in the future.
HAH! It looks like Jessica T. had a similar experience this week! "Never judge a book by it's cover" needs to now include cover blurbs.