Wednesday, October 17, 2012

diane recommends Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I was so excited to read Keeping the Castle, and when it had finally reached the top of my to-read stack, I was thrilled. I read it quickly, and decided I liked it almost right away. While reading reviews about this book, I noticed that many of them referred to this book as another Jane Austen. I had never read any of Jane Austen's books, and so I decided to pick up the "dreaded" Pride and Prejudice. What I found was first, Pride and Prejudice should never be dreaded, and second, Keeping the Castle was very unimpressive. Keeping the Castle is a bad imitation. In the book, Mr. Frederick, a substitute for Mr. Darcy, says, "I hate to see things poorly made, cheap copies of good pieces and so on,"  I feel like this is one of those "cheap copies".

At first I liked this book a lot. It had a great plot, it was a romance, and it was funny.
"'When I first came here, they told me you were one of the most beautiful women in Europe. Quite frankly?' he said, 'I could never see it.' 'I beg your pardon!' 'I won't be marrying you for your much-vaunted beauty, Miss Crawly.' 'You say it is not for my beauty and it cannot be for my fortune. Once again, therefore, I ask: why do you want to marry me?' In truth, I would have married him whatever the reason, but still, I wished to understand. He looked uncomfortable. 'Really, I suppose it is because I like quarreling with you. When I went away to London I meant to forget about you in my head. I couldn't concentrate on my work. In the end, I wrote to my mother. She's a clever woman, my mother. She explained that I was so miserable because I was in love with you. So I thought I would [come back] just to see if she was right.' 'And was she?' I asked. His eyes searched my face. 'I expect so; my mother is generally right. And you like quarreling with me as well, you know you do. Oh, please, Althea, look at me. Do say yes.'  I relinquished any attempt to control my amusement at this unconventional declaration of devotion, and laughed out aloud. 'Oh very well then, yes! I accept. Yes, sir, I will marry you.'"
I really liked this part, and many other parts. But, compared to Pride and Prejudice, This is nothing.
"'Let me thank you again and again, in the name of all my family, for that generous compassion which induces you to take so much trouble and bear so many mortifications, for the sake of discovering them [Lydia and Mr. Wickham].' 'If you WILL thank me,' he replied, 'let it before yourself alone. That the wish of giving happiness to you might add force to the other inducements which led me on, I shall not attempt to deny. But your FAMILY owes me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe I thought only of YOU.' Elizabeth was too much embarrassed to say a word. After a short pause, her companion added, 'You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. MY affections and wishes are unchanged  but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.' Elizabeth, feeling all the more than common awkwardness and anxiety of his situation, now forced herself to speak . . . 'I do, I do like [you].' She replied with tears in her eyes, 'I love [you].' The happiness which this reply produced, was such as he had probably never felt before; and he expressed himself on the occasion as sensibly and as warmly as a man violently in love can be supposed to do."
Keeping the Castle is just a simplified, more boring, not as well written, and not as well thought-out Pride and Prejudice. So, I would advise to not waste your money and time reading and buying Keeping the Castle, go buy Pride and Prejudice.

I loved Pride and Prejudice, and would definitely recommend this book. It was cleverly written, and has almost the same plot as Keeping the Castle, but a little better.

Keeping the Castle
by Patrice Kindl
published by Viking Juvenile 
June 2012
Recommended for 12-16 year olds

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
published by Viking Juvenile 
January 1813
Recommended for young adult readers

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree. I didn't make it to the end of this book because I couldn't stop comparing it to Jane Austen - and finding it lacking. This could have been a better satire if the story had been more original, but it didn't quite work for me.