Here’s another book recommendation from Jen, who says this classic is the perfect Spring read, “as the earth is waking up, and we are all longing for summer…”
I capture the castle, by Dodie Smith.
I have read this book 4 times. My first reading was at age 15 or 16. I loved it the first time, the second, the third and indeed the fourth!
It is an entirely charming novel set in Suffolk in 1934.
The story is narrated by 17 year old Cassandra Mortmain in the form of a fictional personal diary. It follows the ‘fortunes’ of her dysfunctional, eccentric family as they attempt to survive in a decaying Suffolk Castle.
Cassandra and her older sister Rose are keen to experience love and escape their poverty. It is a quintessential romance, and thus sounds boring & clichéd. It is not – Cassandra’s voice infuses the book with her wit, charm, humour and innocence and makes you feel that you know the Mortmain family intimately. Cassandra feels deeply, describes her emotions and thoughts perfectly, and the reader grows with her.
The opening line had me hooked – ‘ I write this sitting in the kitchen sink,’ and I hope that it has the same effect on you.
The author of the book – Dodie Smith (Of 101 Dalmatians fame) wrote this novel whilst in America. It was said that she was longing for England and this book was a nostalgic remedy for her very bad case of homesickness.
Both Jen and I would love to know your thoughs on this novel, if you have already read it. Please leave a comment below.
To learn more about Jen and love of books, please check out her previous review; All the light we cannot see.