Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Published in 1948. 343 pages.

First sentence: I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.

Last sentence: I love you, I love you, I love you.

Description from the back cover: I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle" - and the heart of the reader - in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.

What I thought: This was June's pick for the "book lunch girls." I didn't have it finished by the time we met for lunch at The Cheesecake Factory, but I finished it last week. I really liked the first part of this coming-of-age novel, written by the same woman who wrote The Hundred and One Dalmatians. I liked the last part of the book as well. (I quoted a bit of the ending over on my "regular" blog.) I got bogged down in the middle, though, getting a somewhat frantic, even slapstick feeling when I'd try to read a bit before falling asleep at night. I will admit that my work situation, which was somewhat frantic with long, long days, may have contributed to that, and if I'd had the time and energy to read more of the book at a sitting, I may have enjoyed it more. Overall, I did like it, especially the eccentric characters.

Other information: In 2004 Melissa (Book Nut) listed I Capture the Castle as one of her ten most favorite fiction books. Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic gave it a 5/5. There is a 2003 movie version of the book.


1 comment:

  1. I just finished this...I got bogged down too...just didn't work for me...LOVED Cassandra, but all the other characters were odd.