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I Capture the Castle Paperback – April 1, 2003
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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
Top Customer Reviews
Dear Lynn Hudson, Very many thanks for a particularily kind letter. "I Capture the Castle" was first published in 1948, 37 years ago and yet I still get letters about it, from old friends like you and also, occasionaly, from new friends. I'm astonished and proud that it has lasted so long. I've written other novels and two of my childrens' books continue to be succesful, (paticularily The Hundred and one Dalmatians), but nothing (for me anyway) means as much as ICTC> Where did those characters come from? They are not drawn from life. The Castle partly is but I changed it a great deal and I much prefer my own castle! I've been asked again and again to write a sequel to ICTC but I'm sure I never could. I don't even like to think of the future of the characters because I don't want them to grow older. I've been asked again and again to say whom Cassandra marries but I've no idea. I like to think of her just hopeful for the future and I shall let myself think you and I share this idea. I am now 89 and sometimes (but only sometimes) almost feel it, but not when I think about Cassandra. Thank You again for your letter which has given me great pleasure. And I like to think that in some mysterious realm of the imagination, the characters in my book are pleased to and send you their love-with mine. Dodie Smith Dodie Smith and I wrote back and forth a few more times, until she was unable to write again. She died in 1990. Thank-You, Dodie, for the wonderful gift of "I Capture the Castle"!
Two wealthy American brothers move in next door; although they are initially blinded by sister Rose's classic beauty, eventually one of them (I won't say which) sees the depth of character behind the narrator, the more sincere and thoughtful Cassandra.
Cassandra is an enchanting narrator (the book is a series of first-person entries into her journal) - she is witty, self-effacing, and completely authentic. The reader will absolutely believe she is a real, irreplacable person.
I was so enamored of Cassandra that at first I worried for her when she fell in love - I was worried about a too-convenient fairy-tale ending. But happily the "happily ever after" is replaced by a more intriguing end; Cassandra's final decision is perfectly consistent with her chracter.
I only wish I had read this when I was, like her, a teenager - it would have meant a lot to me to meet a character so ambitious, energetic, lively, funny, who still clearly has romance in her future.
"On the 5th day of Christmas", 2006, I visited and found my friend dead in her bed--she seems to have died peacefully in her sleep. My book was on the table in her living room. In the days following I thoughtfully re-read the volume, thinking at every page how my late friend would have delighted at the offbeat wit and each nimble turn of phrase.
--And for the first time, I was struck by the small but important role of the Vicar (who "looked like an elderly baby"), and noticed the "stealth comfort" he administers to the non-practising, nominally Christian protagonist, when late in the story she is confused and depressed by situations beyond her control. It may well have been the last reference to the comfort of religion which my friend read, which is felicitious; for she reminded me much of the main character in her views on God and religion.
I am grateful to be granted the grace of giving my friend the pleasure of such an enchanting "last novel". I will savour that gentle and whimsical Providence (not unlike something which could have happened in the book) for the rest of my life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My wife is reading it first and says she likes it. WE DID NOT ORDER THIS BOOK AND WERE TOLD IN LESS THAN TWO HOURS AFTER IT WAS ORDERED THAT IT COULD NOT BE STOPPED. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
Okay book. Took a few too many weird turns but I liked the ending.Published 13 days ago by Ellen Balls
I'm not typically a fiction fan, but this story hooked me within 2 pages. I was so sad to reach the last page because I wanted it to go on and on. Read morePublished 21 days ago by D. Hilderbrandt
I've read this book before and I love it. I'm doing my Senior Capstone project on this book and one other one (comparing the two). Read morePublished 27 days ago by Shelby Lauren
This is a wonderful book--great characters, interesting and surprising plot, delightful humor and beautiful writing. I can't recommend it highly enough. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
One of my favorites. Hugely fascinating characters and family interaction Very imaginative and unique Loved it!!!Published 1 month ago by Caddy Grodahl
The plot is a traditional one but the story is lovely, funny and charmingPublished 2 months ago by Katherine
I am just rereading this for the second or third time and it is still one of my all time favorite novels. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ginny