On the Backlist: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

If I had discovered I Capture the Castle in my youth, I’m certain I would have re-read it dozens of times, wrinkling its spine and ingraining its passages into my memory the same way I’ve done with Pride and Prejudice and Rebecca. Instead, I didn’t have the joy of falling in love with Castle until my thirties.

Castle is the story of Cassandra, as told by her entries in her journal. Cassandra is, in short, adorable. There’s just no way not to fall in love with this girl. She’s straightforward, fresh-faced, and so real. Living in a run-down castle with her family (who are struggling for survival), Cassandra spends her days hoping and striving for better things. She has big dreams, and intends to chase them. I’m absolutely enamored of her. There’s a fantastic love story here, too, which doesn’t hurt!

I Capture the Castle seems to be one of those elusive books that it seems only certain pockets of people have read, so if you haven’t, do yourself a favor and go find a copy. It’s charming and sharply witty, and Cassandra’s voice is still fresh and relevant, even after 65 years. In fact, I think it’s long past time I re-read it.

Super clean, lovely, and I’ll be shocked if you don’t adore it. 5 stars.


5 Stars

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