I Capture The Castle

by Dodie Smith

St. Martin's Press | June 15, 1999 | Trade Paperback

I Capture The Castle is rated 4.4706 out of 5 by 17.
I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle''s walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"-- and the heart of the reader-- in one of literature''s most enchanting entertainments.

Bonus: Reading Group Discussion Guide included in this edition

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8.21 × 5.42 × 0.94 in

Published: June 15, 1999

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0312201656

ISBN - 13: 9780312201654

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Average The Mortmain family is an odd family unit living in an odd residence. The family exists of sisters Rose and Cassandra, their brother Thomas, their father, their step-mother Topaz, and their orphaned helping hand Stephen. The family lives in an old dilapidated castle and their money is running out as they wait for their father to return to his writing glory and follow up his first successful book with another. When brothers Simon and Neil Cottom get stuck in the Mortmain drive, their world starts to change. They just inherited land from England even though they had been living in America for a while. Rose determines that she is going to make one of the brothers fall in love with her so that she no longer has to live in poverty. Cassandra finds herself being left at home more and more as her family goes on trips to London with the Cottons, which gets Cassandra thinking about whether she agrees with Rose's selfishness. As she writes in her journal, she tries to find a way to help her father get back into writing. The book is told through Cassandra's journal entries. She believes that she may be able to become a writer some day so she has some pretty lengthy descriptions of things that are not essential to moving the story along. I found myself skimming through these parts because I wanted to get on with the story. Rose's selfishness also made me increasingly frustrated with her as I got further and further through the book. Maybe that was the point though? For a BBC Top 100 book I expected more from this book. There was a twist at the end but I felt it kind of fizzled out and wasn't worth the journey.
Date published: 2010-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible This is by far one of my favorite books. Cassandra tells the story of her peculiar family and the thinks they do to get out of poverty. The first chapter is a little long but after that you can't put it down! Cassandra tells the story in such a charismatic and honest way. I felt like i really knew her and i understood her. I recommend this book to anybody that loves a beautifully told story of love.
Date published: 2008-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from B for BRILLIANT! I thought this book was a magical piece of work, I couldnt even put it down. I love the way the author connected each character to one another through their arguments and their turmoil. i enjoyed this book very much and i recommend it to anyone who loves a perfect love story.
Date published: 2005-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book Ever This book is well worth a read. It kept my interest the intire time(literally too, i read it in 1 day and i'm not a fast reader). It is the best book. I really enjoyed it.
Date published: 2004-01-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not Worth It I did not enjoy this book. I knew as soon as I opened it and read the frist page I wouldn't. The language is hard to understand-since the book takes place in the 1930's. The plot is also strange and boring. Definitely not worth spending time reading.
Date published: 2004-01-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bad This was one of the worst books I have ever read. The ending was awful, stupid and the worst I have ever read. I do not recommend it to anyone.
Date published: 2003-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent This was a great book, and it was very exciting. I could not put it down. It takes you into a fairytale land, and is a must read. The only thing i did not enjoy was the end, in which i feel that casandra and Stefan should have ended off more happy, they shoud have been together, if you get the hint.....
Date published: 2003-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply fantastic! This book is one of the finest I have ever had the chance to read. I stumbled across is one day in my school library, and am very thankful I did. It was so descriptive and the characters so real. By the end of it, I felt that I actually knew them personally. It was so splendid to read, I just couldn't put it down! When I finished it, I was so terribly sad that my marvelous adventure was over. And it has one of the best and surprising endings I've ever come across. If you are doubting about buying or reading this book, don't! Once you read it, you'll never forget it. It certainly captured me!
Date published: 2003-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book Ever This book was the best book I've ever read. I couldn't put it down. I read it during school, at home...basically everywhere I went. I lost the book and when I came to get a new one there were no more left. All stores should have this book in stock. It deserves to be read.
Date published: 2002-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Capture the Castle This was an excellent book! I would recommend it to anyone who thinks that their family is strange. If you do, think again for you have never met Cassandra's family! The scenes are romantic, heartwarming, and even humourous. Not only did she 'capture the castle', but Cassandra has also captured the hearts of everyone who has read this book!
Date published: 2002-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I was captured This is the best book I have ever read. Even at the begining when the story hadn't yet fully developped(when I am usually tempted to put down the book) I was captured and could not put it down.This is the Diarry of Cassandra Mortmain, and the trials and tribulations of her every day life living in the godsend castle.The book was so interenting that I felt that I wanted to visite all the places mentioned,read all the books, and listen to all the music. But be sure to have a dictionnary on hand, for many words are old and british and make the book difficult to understand at some points.But do not be thrown off by this. The book is well worth reading.
Date published: 2002-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Castle Will Capture YOU A rebellious, up front, tongue-in-cheek, yet in-your-face look at life, money, love, growing up, self-respect and self-worth... Totally magical.
Date published: 2002-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating This book was the most intriguing piece of work I've ever chanced to read. It kept me going obsessively for about 6 straight hours until I finished. Cassandra is such a deep character, she's so real, and the plot takes some interesting curves. If you haven't read this book, you should.
Date published: 2001-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME! This was was excellent! It is one of the best books I have ever read! I suggest that you all read it. It is worth it!
Date published: 2001-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!!!!! I loved this book! It was excellent! Every single word was interesting! My fave characters were Stephen and Cassandra! I totally recommend this book!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2001-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW!! I enjoyed this book so much and I've been recommending it to everyone young and old. Its a great coming of age story set in strange and mostly comical situations. Cassandra is a wonderful character, full of life and spirit. The story she tells about her family, her life and her first love all come alive through great narration and description. It's a story not to be missed!
Date published: 2000-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It Captured My Weekend A lovely story about coming of age, and the challenges of leaving childhood behind. This novel had great characters, was hilarious, and at the same time pulled at your heart-strings. I started reading it on Saturday morning and I up late Saturday night fininshing it!!! And by the end, you are desparately wishing for a sequal!! I loved it.
Date published: 2000-02-17

– More About This Product –

I Capture The Castle

by Dodie Smith

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 352 pages, 8.21 × 5.42 × 0.94 in

Published: June 15, 1999

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0312201656

ISBN - 13: 9780312201654

From the Publisher

I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle''s walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"-- and the heart of the reader-- in one of literature''s most enchanting entertainments.

Bonus: Reading Group Discussion Guide included in this edition

About the Author

Dorothy Gladys "Dodie" Smith, born in 1896 in Lancashire, England, was one of the most successful female dramatists of her generation. She wrote Autumn, Crocus, and Dear Octopus, among other plays. I Capture the Castle, her first novel, was written in the 1940s while she was living in America. An immediate success, it marked her crossover from playwright to novelist, and was produced as a play in 1954. Smith also wrote the novels The Town in Bloom, It Ends with Revelations, A Tale of Two Families, and The Girl in the Candle-Lit Bath, but she is best known today as the author of two highly popular stories for young readers: The Hundred and One Dalmatians and The Starlight Barking. She died in 1990.

From Our Editors

Call it Jane Austen meets My So-Called Life, set in 1930s Suffolk. The castle in question is the crumbling, unlikely home of 17-year old Cassandra Mortmain, who seeks to "capture" its essence in a journal -- her fledgling effort to become a writer like her father. Or rather, unlike her father. William Mortmain hasn't written a line in 12 years, but he remains a literary cult figure. But after a violent scene which landed him in prison for three months, his talent seems to have dried up and with it, the family's fortunes. The ruined Norman castle is a romantic but dreary place for a family, even one as mixed-up as the Mortmains. Aside from observant but ingenuous Cassandra, there is her beautiful sister Rose, intelligent brother Thomas, their stepmother Topaz -- a bohemian artist's model -- and handsome house boy Stephen, who is in love with Cassandra. This unusual family scrapes by in this implausible edifice, without any real hope of improving their situation. When Rose makes a joking pact with the Devil to find a husband and a pair of wealthy American brothers stumble into their lives, the family is thrown into further disarray. Suddenly a plot is hatched to get Rose married to the heir and the cerebral foreigners are riling the unstable father into exerting himself socially and intellectually again. As the relationships between these wildly complex and fascinating characters form, dissolve and re-form again, the novel twists its way through a
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Editorial Reviews

"This book has one of the most charismatic narrators I''ve ever met. Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain captures the castle in her insightful, witty journal entries."--Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling

"What a lovely book is I Capture the Castle. It''s as fresh as if it were written this morning, and as classic as Jane Austen. I''m very happy to have met it."--Donald E. Westlake

"A delicious, compulsively readable novel about young love and its vicissitudes. What fun!"--Erica Jong

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

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