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Ts there have been great changes in the Mortmain household not the least of which is that Cassandra is deeply hopelessly in love. i found this book to alternate between delightful and infuriatinghere is the delightful images of the english countryside and the crumbling fantastic castle cassandra s optimism and intelligence pre simon perfect descriptions of peaceful contemplative momentsand here is the infuriating cassandra s father a supposed genius but in reality a sexist abusive loathsome distant fellow he appears sporadically to ignore his children leave his wife lonely make everyone uestion his sanity and demand his supper from the ladies of the house the frustrating part of this character is that his terrible behavior is overlooked and often glorified when he should be taken to task i spent a good part of this book longing for someone to throw him into the moat cassandra s personality meltdown after falling in love the optimistic intelligent loving happy girl turns at once into a mean spirited self centered fool she begins to hate her sister and engage in other sorts of petty miserable behavior not only is her change of heart unbelievable in how uickly and totally she becomes a different mean angry self centered person but somehow the author seems to insinuate that this very change of heart for the worst is in itself the act of growing up what a sad commentary on aging cassandra s behavior isthe back of the book declares by the time she cassandra pens her final entry she has captured the castlei do not believe that cassandra captures the castle by the end of this book i think she loses the castle she has lost her optimism and her ability to write without a certain bitterness her words are tainted by her own angersadnessjealousy about her troublesome love i feel that capturing the castle would have meant cassandra maintaining her original good nature selflessness and happiness despite her failure in love it would have been rectifying in person her horrid behavior towards her sister and most certainly standing up to her father

REVIEW I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle

Et poignant entries about her home a ruined Suffolk castle and her eccentric and penniless family By the time the last diary shu. 299 Kindle sale May 1 2020 4 stars Recommended if you like historical coming of age fiction I had never heard of I Capture the Castle until a friend gave it an extremely strong recommendation Dodie Smith is the author of The 101 Dalmatians the original basis for the Disney movie and the only reason I was familiar with her name which I read many years ago and really enjoyedThis 1948 novel is about an intelligent 17 year old girl Cassandra Mortmain who lives in semi genteel but crushing poverty in mid 1930s England in a dilapidated castle Cassandra has ambitions of becoming an author like her father Her story is told in the form of her journal entries as she practices her writing skills to try to learn to capture the castle as well as the people in her life in her writingCassandra skillfully describes her father s distance and failure to do anything to provide for the family her stepmother s charm and eccentricity and her older sister Rose s despair at their isolation and poverty But what broke my heart was her matter of fact descriptions of how their poverty affects their lives every day the too small worn out clothing the girls have to wear her gratitude for having eggs along with bread and margarine for their evening meal the way the girls trade off sleeping in the one comfortable bed in their room which hasn t been sold only because it s in such bad shape Rose the beautiful sister is grimly determined to escape from poverty even if she has to marry a man she doesn t love When two young American brothers move into town the older son Simon is the family s new and wealthy landlord the Mortmains lives are all turned topsy turvy with love romance and secretsCassandra s insights into own and others personalities and motivations are sharp and witty and occasionally even a little prophetic I think the symbolism of her name from Greek mythology is deliberate although she misses at least one major secret that a member of her own family is hiding The characters are believable and human sometimes frustratingly so with their flaws I particularly wanted to smack Cassandra s father upside the head he s a well known author with one famous book to his credit but for the last ten years he s been struggling with a massive case of writer s block hiding away in his home office reading detective novels and working on crosswords while his family sells the furniture to survive I thought there were just a few missteps in the story the chain of unreuited love interests was pushing the boundaries of believability woman wants boy who loves girl who loves another guy who loves another girl who loves I guessed one big reveal at the end fairly early in the story Cassandra spends a chapter or two examining her views on religion and talking to the local vicar and then never mentions it again which made me wonder why it was included in the first placeBut these are minor flaws Cassandra is an enchanting character and a fantastic narrator surrounded by some unforgettable characters This is a lovely bittersweet novel that doesn t go for the easy resolution

SUMMARY Õ SABLEYES.CO.UK ´ Dodie Smith

Through six turbulent months of 1934 17 year old Cassandra Mortmain keeps a journal filling three notebooks with sharply funny y. My name is Cassandra Mortmain I know it sounds made up but it s true I m 17 and bright as a button and never been kissed because it s the 1930s My family are effortlessly bohemian we all live in a crumbling castle oh yes uite literally and we have no money at all and we have only barely heard of the twentieth century How poor we are since father stopped earning any money He used to be a genius but now he does crosswords We eat the occasional potato and scrape plaster off the walls for pudding We have thought of cooking one of our dogs but that would not do Also something you should be aware of although you will find out pretty soon I believe is that I suffer from acute logorrhoea which is a debilitating condition that impels its victim to write a never ending journal into which is debouched every last possible banal but extremely charming detail of one s life and that of one s immediate family which is the pulchritudinous Rose my 21 year old sister my doughty schoolboy brother my poor damaged papa who wrote one brilliant book once but has since sunk into a kind of bewilderment and his nude model youngish wife the unusual lute playing nature communing Topaz whom we love immoderately in spite of her frank farfetchedness along with various cats and dogs with classically derived names and a servant boy called Stephen who gauchely is in love with my 17 year old preciousness and whom we do not pay but who contrives to be preternaturally handsome and work for us for free Anyone might think I have made all this up out of my own couettish head We may live in a literal castle but we haven t got the price of a loaf of bread It s enough to make a cat laugh Our situation is so wry that fairly broad comedy oozes from its very pores Rose said only last night that she was uite up to walking the streets to earn a crust if she thought it would do any good but the uaint rural byways of the Suffolk countryside don t possess the reuired type of street So here I am as usual sitting on something odd it could be a turret or a tuffet or a large mammal carefully noting down in my journal everything I hear and see along with the weather at the time and the precise location of the several animals we own what I am wearing and what my immediate family are wearing with various passing references to the utter beauty of the crumbling literal castle that we all inhabit over which the moon sheds its downy light and lambent whatnotsFour months later Something has actually happened Yes new owners of the mansion have taken possession new neighbours And it s just like a fairytale for they are none other than two handsome American bachelors with whom I and my sister will fall in love and they with ourselves naturellement But not before many pages of microscopic examination of every trifling occurrence so that a single evening in their company will take 30 pages for me to detail and the sisterly debate about it another ten And certainly not before much gentle yet sharply observed observations on the romantic yearnings of two beautiful yet penniless girls who get the brothers the wrong way round at first Now let me explain how I first met the American brothers I was in the bath and I had been dying clothes that day so my entire body was coloured a violent sea green and they wandered into the crumbling castle thinking no one could possibly live there Imagine the scene They took me for some kind of turtle


10 thoughts on “I Capture the Castle

  1. says:

    My name is Cassandra Mortmain I know it sounds made up but it’s true I’m 17 and bright as a button and never been kissed

  2. says:

    What a generous caretaker of a novelIf I say that this novel didn't reuire me to do any work it sounds like a vague insult as if I'm saying that the story or the characters were slight and that's not at all what I mean I mean that the novel both through format a very self aware narrator's journal and authorial intent with a firm eye on the sort of story telling pedigree that brought her there anticipated my readerly needs and d

  3. says:

    This is going to be the shortest review I've written on this site in a while The reason I'm going to keep it short is because no description

  4. says:

    That's right I really liked it And I'm not ashamed to admit it Now would you please excuse me while I go read Hemingway and then kill somethin

  5. says:

    299 Kindle sale May 1 2020 4 stars Recommended if you like historical coming of age fiction I had never heard of I Capture the Castle until a friend gave it an extremely strong recommendation Dodie Smith is the author of The 101 Dalmatians the original basis for the Disney movie and the only reason I was familiar with her name which I read many years ago and really enjoyedThis 1948 novel is about an intellig

  6. says:

    With many of my favorite books I can still remember the person who put a copy in my hands Matilda was given to me for my 8th birthday by my stepdad the title Pride and Prejudice scribbled on a piece of paper and handed to me by my young must've been straight out of college 7th grade English teacher she gave me

  7. says:

    Dear I Capture the CastleWhat to say what to say? Hard to put down all the feelings To put it simply you did everything right The characterization like flowers slowly blooming The story like seasons changing invisibly but inevitably The romance made both heartfelt and utterly often infuriatingly real The details oh the details I was put right into this world and right into Cassandra's head And the charm You are such a ch

  8. says:

    The first half of this was like Jane Austen herself descended from the heavens godlike and delivered me personally a giftThe second half of this is like Jane Austen removed the mask and revealed she was just Some Romance Writer not to

  9. says:

    i found this book to alternate between delightful and infuriatinghere is the delightful   images of the english countryside and the crumbling fantastic castle cassandra's optimism and intelligence pre simon perfect descriptions of peaceful contemplative momentsand here is the infuriating cassandra's father a supposed ge

  10. says:

    This novel was darn near perfectCassandra her family inhabit a castle in conditions of extreme poverty Cassandra captures both her family's character their eccentric life style beautifully in her journals a very rare example of a diary narration working Different styles depths of love are explored I will never

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