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.
Did you buy it? I very rarely buy a book unless I know it's going to be worth it. I'm requesting this one right now. J and I very much enjoyed the Picnic with Monet and other fine arts board books!ReplyDelete
No, this was a library find. It was listed in the YA section which I thought was very odd because other than that one mild scene, there wasn't really anything YA about it.ReplyDelete
I think the comparisons of new and old books are somewhat inevitable when so many new books are trying to reinvent or be a modern version of or present a 'new' whatever. It can be a marketing device, but it's also a writing device. And like your daughter discovered, if you love the 'original' anything new can't compare. (and that's one reason why I didn't care for the wildly popular Penderwicks - to me, it was trying so hard to be the Melendy's and the March's etc. that it had no appeal for me, though I know that's not the case for most other folks)ReplyDelete
I love a good frothy read to break up the heavier stuff - thanks for the share!ReplyDelete
Looks like a fun book! I know what you mean about the annoyance of every new book being compared to an old one. It is a good way to give potential readers a rough idea of the book's style, but it's a bit like those ads for painkillers that say, "Compare to Tylenol/Advil/other brand names."ReplyDelete
It was fun. My girls have both read it now and enjoyed it.Delete
I agree that the "it's Stuart Little meets Hamlet" stuff is total nonsense, but "they" make authors do that. It's part of what your "elevator pitch" is supposed to include if you ever have an agent or publisher cornered. I'm not sure why they feel the need to put it on book jackets though, talk about setting a new author up for unfavorable comparisons!ReplyDelete
Yeah... I can understand using it as a means of pitching an idea but it needs to die right there. And in this case, it was part of someone else's review of the book which, after reading it, tells me she read it very shallowly.Delete
You are right, that review would grab me! Thanks for sharing!!ReplyDelete