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Book of the Week #10- I Capture The Castle


I Capture The Castle*
by Dodie Smith

"I love, I have loved, and I will love."

I Capture The Castle is the story of an English family facing poverty in the 1930's written from the point of view of seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain's journal.
The family consists of Cassandra, her older sister Rose, younger brother Thomas, their father, James and step-mother, Topaz. With them lives hired hand Stephen, who is in love with Cassandra. They live in an old castle far from any neighbors. James was once a successful author of the fictional novel, Jacob Wrestling, which was very popular in America. Yet after a mental breakdown and stent in prison, he finds himself unable to write and holds himself in his office while reading detective novels. The rest of the family tries to find ways to make money, Topaz, a former model, occasionally going to London to pose for paintings. Rose wants a husband, basically to get away from the poverty and to relieve the family of her burden, while Cassandra dreams of becoming an author, the main reason she keeps the journal being to improve her writing skills. After his passing, the landlord's American grandsons Simon and Neil come to England, along with their mother Mrs. Cotton (who is coincidently a big fan of James), to take care of the estate.
I like that this is written in the style of a journal, which just seems to fit better than if it were to be written in first or third person.
This is one of my favorite books ever. It's like classics by Austen or the Bronte's, but definitely more modern (published in 1948) and a little more quirky. This, to me, is a much easier novel to visualize in your mind than other classics.
This is a coming-of-age story of a girl approaching womanhood. I wouldn't label it young-adult; it's much more mature than that. I'd say it's more for young women between the ages of 18-24. It's about the uncertainties of becoming an adult, the complications of first loves, and being stuck between girlhood and womanhood.
The romance in I Capture The Castle is the kind I like to read about. The real kind. It isn't mushy and cutesy. It's awkward at first, hard to go through and then it's lovely.
All in all, I Capture The Castle is a wonderful story that I will read time and again and would recommend to anyone who loves classics.
I give this book a 5 out 5.


*Since I write young adult novels, I've decided to add a mark to specify a more mature novel. Most books I feature are Christian, but some are intended for an older audience. So if you're under 18, consult your parents before reading these picks.

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