Release Date: 1948
Pages: 343 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Paperback
Amazon | Goodreads
Summary (from Amazon)
I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"--and the heart of the reader--in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.
Thoughts on I Capture the Castle
Let me start by saying that this is a book to be savored. And it's already on my list of favorite books I've ever read. Not favorite of 2012... FAVORITES EVER. I'll be re-reading this book for the rest of my life. You hear that? I'll be telling you about my love for it in no uncertain terms. Now let's begin.
Cassandra Mortmain lives with her father, stepmother, sister and brother in a rundown castle in the English castle. While a castle may sound romantic, the family's poverty certainly isn't. Mr. Mortmain was a famous author, but a series of events have left him temperamental and unable to write anything. Topaz, her stepmother, is a free spirit. Modeling for painters, she longs to be someone's muse. Rose, Cassandra's older sister, just wants to marry a rich man. As a beauty, it's likely she'll be able to accomplish her goal. The younger brother, Thomas, exists but doesn't often step into the spotlight.
The book is written as Cassandra's journal, chronicling her observations and thoughts on everything going on around her. As an aspiring writer, it's delightful to watch Cassandra mature as the book progresses. It's a coming-of-age story with a narrator who reminded me of Anne from Anne of Green Gables. And that's quite a compliment because I adore Anne.
Life is rather routine for the Mortmain family until two American brothers, Simon and Neil Cotton, arrive and throw everyone into a tizzy. I knew next to nothing about this story, and I think it's best experienced that way.
Let me just say, however, that I found this book to be enchanting. Cassandra's voice is winningly naive. She charms you and disarms you with her thoughtful (and often comical) reflections. I also have to love a girl who references Pride and Prejudice rather often.
I had heard of this book, but I'd never felt compelled to read it until I found it in a little bookstore in San Francisco. Determined to buy a book while I was visiting the city, I took this home with me. And I'm oh so glad I did! I was shocked by how quickly I fell in love with this witty and memorable book. This is the kind of story and narrator that creeps into your heart and just leaves you feeling warm and glowy inside.
I can't say enough about how much I loved the writing. I wanted to savor it, to roll each word around in my head and let the descriptions come alive off the page. But the story was good, too! I wanted to race ahead and find out what was going to happen next. In my opinion, that makes for the best kind of book.
There aren't enough words to tell you how much I loved this story, this family and this world. I don't know whether to be happy I finally discovered it or to be mad I didn't find it sooner! This book won't be right for everyone, but it was the perfect read for me. I honestly think you'll probably know if you'll enjoy this book just by reading the first page.
"When I read a book, I put in all the imagination I can, so that it is almost like writing the book as well as reading it - or rather, it is like living it. It makes reading so much more exciting, but I don't suppose many people try to do it."
“How I wish I lived in a Jane Austen novel!”
“Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.”