My Review of I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Date Finished: 16th February 2013

Book Challenge 2013 Number: 13

Rating: 4 stars
 
It’s definitely going to be a lazy Sunday for me, have for the moment got no immediately pressing work to complete and am feeling a bit rough around the edges. Think I’ll turn to some Shakespeare today for a bit of reading in bed with the IPod on shuffle. 
 
I Capture the Castle is certainly an intriguing read, following the Mortmain family mainly through the eyes of Cassandra in their old, dilapidated castle. Mr Mortmain took out a 40 year lease on it, hoping it would soothe his chronic writers block after he can’t seem to write anything after his first book. Jacob Wrestling. He lives there with his 2 daughters Rose and Cassandra, his son Thomas, his second wife Topaz and Stephen, who helps out around the house and is desperately in love with Cassandra. Money is extremely tight for them, and Rose in particular craves a luxurious lifestyle. Then the Cotton brothers turn up, Neil and Simon. Simon is the heir to a considerable fortune, which could rescue the family from their dire financial situation…
 
This book was such a charming one to read, and literary-enthusiast Cassandra makes for a great narrator. I especially love the first line of the entire novel ‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink’. She tells the story as she sees it, and feels that ‘capturing’ everything around her and learning to speed write will lead to her literary ambitions of becoming an author. 
 
My favourite character from I Capture the Castle would definitely have to be Cassandra herself, she’s a typical late teenage girl wanting things she can’t have, but she’s not typical in so many ways. She has a lot of burden placed upon her which forces her to mature in order to help out to make life a little easier for the entire family. Their situation isn’t helped by Mr Mortmain himself, who for the first half of the book doesn’t appear to do much.
 
I absolutely adored the ending, which was a lovely surprise (and I won’t be giving it away). You feel a sense of elation on Cassandra’s behalf and also extremely sorry for poor Simon.
 
Definitely a recommended read 🙂
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