Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith

Category: Books that became the basis for Movies/Television

My sister sent me this enchanting book while I was enduring a very confusing and painful time in my life.  Although my sister had not read the book herself, it was the perfect book at the perfect time. 
Smith's character Cassandra keeps her diaries as she grows up on a very unusual estate that was an old castle.  I love the first line where Cassandra states she is writing while sitting in the kitchen sink.  This completely sets the mood and tone of the book. Her family lives off the royalties of her father's groundbreaking and best-selling novel. Unfortunately, these funds are running low and the family is growing desperate in their financial needs. The father is questionably a genius or lunatic. His wife has passed away and he has remarried a very sweet and beautiful woman named Topaz. 
Cassandra is very close to her older sister, Rose, who decides the best way out of the predicament is to marry for money. Lo and behold the very wealthy Cotton family, including two American brothers come into their lives and add lots of intrigue.  There is also the handsome Steven, who is head over heels for Cassandra, although his love is unrequited. Cassandra falls in love with someone she shouldn't, an unrequited love as well.  All the different emotions create much more than love triangles, more like confusing love octagons, stars, or squiggles! Needless to say all these loves turn into a lovely mess that Smith writes with incredible humor and sensitivity. 
Wonderfully written, clever, and compassionate.  For all of us who love, have loved and will love this is a book to empathize and fall in love with the characters.

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