Title: Keys to the Castle
Author: Donna Ball
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
When Sara Graves’ husband dies unexpectedly, she is at a loss as to what to do. Even worse, he dies only three weeks after their impulsive marriage. When Sara discovers her husband had family property in France, she is surprised but not shocked; after all, they barely knew one another before marrying. But when she travels to France to settle the will, Sara is in for one shock after another, making her wonder if she really knew the man she married.
Sometimes I’m in the mood for some light, fun reading that doesn’t require energy to read or me to engage with the story. I just want to be entertained, and I was in one of those moods when I picked up Donna Ball’s Keys to the Castle. This was the perfect book for one of those moods – light, frothy, and very enjoyable.
Sara was an interesting character. In this book, she’s in her late forties, a fact of which I had to keep reminding myself. I don’t know what it was – her energy, her impulsiveness – but I kept picturing her about ten years younger (late thirties) than she is actually written. That’s not a criticism or complaint, just something that struck me about Sara. I could understand the depth of her grief at losing a husband she loved, but barely knew. I really enjoyed watching her find her strength and learn to live again.
I have to admit, I didn’t really get the main romance of the story. I saw it coming, I just didn’t feel it. That being said, it didn’t bother me or seem out of place. In fact, it fits in with the character of the overall book – it’s all on the surface. This makes it a perfect book if you’re looking for pure entertainment, rather than having to think about characters or situations, but if you go into the book with an analytical mindset, I can see this being bothersome.
Keys to the Castle was a fun and easy read. While I do enjoy Donna Ball’s Ladybug Farm series (A Year on Ladybug Farm), it’s nice to see her take a break and try something new. This is a great book to read after a long, tiring day.