Keeping the Castle
By: Patricia Kindl
This book was just what I needed. It's a whiff of fresh air! Althea, who is 17, has the responsibility of marrying rich in order to save the castle her great-grandfather built (which is on the verge of being unlivable). This book is told in first person, and is done seamlessly. As I read, I felt like I was right there beside Althea throughout the book. She lives with her mother, a few staff, her younger brother and her two older (and snobbish/weirdo) stepsisters (who end up in the way, of course). A ball is to be held to welcome young single men into town and this turns out to be what Althea thinks of as her chance to marry rich. At the ball we are introduced to the rest of the main characters (minus Miss Vincy, who you meet later, and who becomes the center of skepticism and friendship in the story). Lord Boring and Mr. Frederickson are two of the men among others that she dances with and acquaints herself with at the ball, though she does so sopping wet (you'll have to read to find out why)! As the book progresses, Althea's creativeness and personality never wear out. She makes a riding outfit from an old war jacket, saves people from mine wells, and has to fry minnows from the moat to entertain guests! Funny, light, smart, and witty, you won't want it to end, and when it does, you'll be sad to say goodbye to the characters, as by then, they feel like family.