I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle

Paperback - 1999
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The story of 17-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in an English castle, "I Capture the Castle" is as brightly witty and adventuresome today as it was when it was first published 50 years ago. Illustrations. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1999, c1976.
ISBN: 9780312993023
Characteristics: 364 pages ;,18 cm.


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Aug 02, 2020

A.J. Fikry and Used Books in India

Jun 27, 2020

The first of the pandemic list novels that was a dud.

Jun 02, 2020

This book was so highly praised that I kept reading way beyond when I would normally give up and give it away. In fact, I actually finished it because I was sure it would be getting better in just a page or two and all those 5 and 4 star reviewers couldn't be wrong. This is a book that you either love or you don't like it at all. I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 star because "it was OK." But i wouldn't recommend it.

Mar 15, 2020

À charming story of an eccentric family living in extreme poverty in a run down castle. The arrival of 2 brothers from the USA changes life for their family. Jane Austen fans will like this. Several interesting characters have strong story lines with unexpected twists and turns. A lovely light read.

Nov 01, 2019

View life in a crumbling castle through the eyes of 17-year-old Cassandra. She is writing in her journal to improve her writing skills. Meanwhile her family goes through some drastic changes after meeting the Americans who move in next door. This classic tale brings to mind Pride & Prejudice, but also has a early 20th century feel to it with automobiles and gramophones. At times heartwarming and at others heartbreaking. You can't read this book without falling in love with our dauntless narrator.

DBRL_KrisA Aug 17, 2019

First published in 1948, but the book is written in such good, plain, non-affected English that I assumed it to have been written just a few years ago. Enjoyable characters - Mortmain, Topaz, Leda Fox-Cotton, the Vicar. Reference is made in the book to Jane Austen, and this is so very much a Jane Austen type book, with added elements of Downton Abbey, and a little Agatha Christie - not the mystery part, but just the small-English-village part.

Thing I learned after reading this book: Dodie Smith was the author of, among other things, the children's story that Disney's 101 Dalmatians is based on.

IndyPL_SteveB May 21, 2019

A wonderful novel with a charming narrator. One of those fascinating surprises that you run into; I am most pleased because I’ve never read anything else like it.

In 1932, 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain’s family lives in a house built on the side of a partially collapsed English castle. Her father was once a famous author but hasn’t written anything in years and now has no income. The family is in near desperate poverty, only making ends meet with the help of a live-in teen handyman that they took in when his mother died. Cassandra’s beautiful older sister Rose is desperate to marry someone and escape the castle’s poverty; so when Simon, the young man who has inherited the manor house of the family which owns the castle, shows up to see the property, Rose and Cassandra plot to get Simon to marry Rose.

The most remarkable thing about the book is watching this entire story through the eyes of Cassandra as she writes it all in her journal. The telling lets us see into the thoughts of a real person, as she firmly makes statements on life, then sees that they are naïve, then proceeds to upgrade her statements into slightly more mature – but equally wrong-headed – philosophical declarations. The writing is lyrical and enthusiastic and emotional; but always super descriptive, so you really know the people around her and the locations in which they live. The title is not about war; it is her attempt to “capture” the life and appearance of the castle *in words* in her journal.

Apr 14, 2019

I heard that this book would appeal to fans of Downton Abbey, so I decided to give it a try. This book is written in the first person from the perspective of teenaged Cassandra, who keeps a journal. As the book opens, Cassandra and her rather eccentric family are living in poverty in a decaying castle rented from the owner of the nearby estate. The estate owner has died recently, and the estate is inherited by a fairly distant young American relative who never expected to inherit, but the relatives with priority all died (yes, that did remind me of Downton Abbey). The new owner and his family (including mother and brother) come to see their new estate. There are various story lines involving romance and some intrigue.

I Capture the Castle was originally published in 1948. I thought this book started a bit slowly, but I stuck with it, and I did enjoy it.

Mar 19, 2019

I adore this book. I think about it all the time. This book is magic and I never wanted it to end. It's about an eccentric family that is educated and cultured but also completely free spirited. The point of view is a young woman who loves to journal. It's brilliant and touching, and it outlines class/poverty struggles and a glimpse of what women's issues were going on during that era (1930's England). American and British culture is also explored and documented in a fascinating way.

SPPL_Kristen Mar 21, 2018

Cassandra was such an important character to my teen self in ways I couldn't possibly articulate in such a small comment box. But I'm so excited that this book has endured for so many years and so many other young girls can feel the same connection.

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SPL_STARR Jun 16, 2015

"I write this sitting in the kitchen sink."

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