I Capture the Castle

Smith, Dodie

Book - 2003?
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
I Capture the Castle
The story of 17-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Over six turbulent months, she fills three diaries with sharply funny yet poignant entries and manages to find herself hopelessly in love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle" and the heart of the reader.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Griffin, [2003?], c1976
ISBN: 031231616X
Branch Call Number: FICTION SMITH
Characteristics: 343 p. :,ill. ;,21 cm


From Library Staff

This is the charming coming of age story of Cassandra, a witty and unique character. Makes me wish I were as strong and funny as she and want to be her friend.

A coming of age story for Cassandra Mortmain who lives in poverty in a run-down castle in England. She is a witty and independent character.

From the critics

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Oct 15, 2014
  • Cassini_s_Home rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Charming and enchanting. Anne of Green Gables with a splash of cynicism. Worth reading.

Apr 16, 2014
  • GLNovak rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Cassandra is seventeen and although living in abject poverty in a crumbling castle with no income of any obvious kind, other than the pittance that Stephen brings in, is seemingly loving her life. I read somewhere that it was in the same vein as Glass Castles by Jeanette Wall, and in some ways it is. This is completely fiction set in rural southern England in the 1940's while Wall's is her biography of growing up in the Virginia Appalatian Mts of the 1960's. I found the fiction narrative to be a little too cute and bubbly for my taste but that could be the result of the time period of the writing. Certainly all ends well in both. They are uplifing stories of hardship not dampening the spirit or holding back ambition. A little too sweetly amazing for me to give a higher rating.

Aug 15, 2013
  • blolo rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This book has an absolutely lovable and endearing narrator (Cassandra). She's wonderful and the best part of the book. However, I found the storyline itself slow and dull. It did seem like it was "before its times" though, as it was written in the 1940s. I imagine that is part of the reason it was/is such a beloved book.

Jul 27, 2013
  • Claire Christine Keenan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is perfect for anyone who loves historical fiction, especially those romantics out there! It has clever and witty characters, with enough plot twists to keep you guessing! Definitely a great read!

Jul 27, 2012
  • lexikeeler rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Terrific voice from the first line when Cassandra is sitting in the sink to the last line. Charming.

Jul 09, 2012
  • kellymasegian rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I can't point to anything particularly wrong with this book (although I was disappointed with the ending). However, it just didn't grab me. I found the narrator to be annoying in her misery rather than "dynamic" as the book reviews shared. Not terrible, but I was non-plussed.

Oct 19, 2011
  • jandocr rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Great read! Definitely recommend. The character Cassandra makes such a great narrator. When I read in the comments below that this book was written in the 30s, I could not believe it! It does not have that history old-language feel at all. A nice twist at the end too - did not see that coming! I also thoroughly enjoyed the love connections between the characters in the book.

Aug 28, 2011
  • Rhonwen rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

What a delight! I find it hard to believe that this book was ever allowed to be out of print. Luckily there are no castles here or I might be tempted to go for a moonlight swim in a chilly moat with a pair of tempermental swans.

Aug 18, 2011
  • Zoomerofall rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I have loved this book since I first read it when I was 16. I re-read it every few years. Utterly charming.

Aug 16, 2011

I am currently reading "The Reading Group", which cronicles the books and lives of a reading group. "I capture the Castle" is one of the books they read. Everyone loved it, and by the comments of readers here, I think I will also.

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