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Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain wants to become a writer. Trouble is, she's the daughter of a once-famous author with a severe case of writer's block. Her family--beautiful sister Rose, brooding father James, ethereal stepmother Topaz--is barely scraping by in a crumbling English castle they leased when times were good. Now there's very little furniture, hardly any food, and just a few pages of notebook paper left to write on. Bravely making the best of things, Cassandra gets hold of a journal and begins her literary apprenticeship by refusing to face the facts. She writes, "I have just remarked to Rose that our situation is really rather romantic, two girls in this strange and lonely house. She replied that she saw nothing romantic about being shut up in a crumbling ruin surrounded by a sea of mud."
Rose longs for suitors and new tea dresses while Cassandra scorns romance: "I know all about the facts of life. And I don't think much of them." But romantic isolation comes to an end both for the family and for Cassandra's heart when the wealthy, adventurous Cotton family takes over the nearby estate. Cassandra is a witty, pensive, observant heroine, just the right voice for chronicling the perilous cusp of adulthood. Some people have compared I Capture the Castle to the novels of Jane Austen, and it's just as well-plotted and witty. But the Mortmains are more bohemian--as much like the Addams Family as like any of Austen's characters. Dodie Smith, author of 101 Dalmations, wrote this novel in 1948. And though the story is set in the 1930s, it still feels fresh, and well deserves its reputation as a modern classic. --Maria Dolan --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I've ever met. (J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series)
Dreamy and funny . . . an odd, shimmering timelessness clings to its pages. A thousand and one cheers for its reissue. A+ (Entertainment Weekly)
I Capture the Castle is finally back in print. It should be welcomed with a bouquet of roses and a brass band. Ever since I was handed a tattered copy years ago with the recommendation 'You'll love it,' it has been one of my favorite novels. (Susan Isaacs)
It is an occasion worth celebrating when a sparkling novel, a work of wit, irony, and feeling is brought back into print after an absence of many years. So uncork the champagne for I Capture the Castle. (Los Angeles Times)
A delicious, compulsively readable novel about young love and its vicissitudes. What fun! (Erica Jong)
What a lovely book! What a joy! What a breath of fresh air! I am gushing..... but I so loved this book I am shattered that I have just read the last page. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Annie
Initially, I was charmed by this book. The characters, the setting, and the way it was written were full of Englishness and eccentricity. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Claire Bendix
I couldn't believe all the rave reviews! This a mediocre young adult book if I ever read one!Published 6 days ago by M. Burns
I read it as a teenager, and have thought about this delightful book many times over the last 20 years . Having re-read it now I'm happy to say it's as good as I remembered!Published 20 days ago by Margaret Puchaev
I Capture the Castle transported me back to 1930s England courtesy of its charming seventeen-year-old narrator, Cassandra Mortmain, to watch her family deal with genteel poverty in... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Karen Berner
I enjoyed every minute of this book. Dodie Smith's prose is gorgeous, and the story is captivating.Published 26 days ago by Cynde Route
Good read, but I was hoping for a sequel so we could find out what happened next to all the characters!Published 29 days ago by Jacrams
I read about this book in a memoir. Memorable book. Bought the DVD, but the movie's a letdown after the book.Published 1 month ago by Barcelona Cathy