Amazon.com Review 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
"I write this sitting in the kitchen sink...." - what a great start to a fab book!
I love this book and love to recommend it to friends (although particularly suited to young teenage girls)! I'm on my third copy! I wish I had read it myself as a teenager, and hope that my own dd's will enjoy it. It's a real coming-of-age feel-good book - but then I may just be a hopeless romantic! Hope you enjoy this gentle, lovely book....if not, please be kind
My 15 year old dd is currently reading this on my recommendation. She is at the stage when she is loathe to admit I'm right about anything, but judging by the way it even accompanies her to the loo,I think she loves it! Refreshing change from all the miserable stuff-e.g.Lord of the Flies-set by examining boards.