Book review: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

I Capture the Castle
By Dodie Smith

9780141371504

Published: 1948
Edition: Paperback
Publisher: Vintage Classics
★★★★★

A few weeks ago I visited Portobello Market and walked around the streets looking for some vintage furniture for my new house. When I couldn’t find any that I liked and I was starting to think my trip has been all in vain, my boyfriend suggested (obviously trying to cheer me up a bit) visiting Waterstones in Notting Hill. The trouble that I have with Waterstones is that I can’t come in and not buy books. But this time I told myself that there wasn’t anything that I wanted to buy immediately. Little did I know that I was about to come across this book… this beautiful and extraordinary little book.

I Capture the Castle tells the story of Cassandra Mortmain and her family. She writes in her journal almost every day and wittily describes life growing up in a crumbling castle, with her father who suffers from writer’s block, her glamorous but ineffectual step-mother and her vain but beloved sister Rose. When two visiting Americans arrive, all of their lives are turned upside down, and Cassandra falls in love for the first time.

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This book is like having a cup of hot chocolate while its raining outside. It’s like waking up to a beautiful spring morning and that’s why I give it 5 brilliant stars.

What I liked about it was its simplicity, the exquisite writing and the different characters that you get know while reading chapter after chapter. I liked Rose – in spite of everything – I liked her very much and I could relate to her feelings as well as Cassandra’s.

This book not only made me want to abandon the city and move to the English countryside  for good but it also made me remember what I felt when I was 17 years old and I fell in love for the first time.

I cannot recommend it enough. Cassandra’s story will stay with you long after the last page is turned.  I really didn’t guess what was going to happen to the characters and I was quite surprised with the ending… that last sentence is memorable.

Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

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