January 25, 2017

Life with Cassandra • I Capture the Castle

I’ve been meaning to read I Capture the Castle for a really long time now, specifically ever since I first saw Hannah’s glowing review – and it finally happened this month. I’m really pleased to tell you that I absolutely loved it! It’s all about six months in the life of Cassandra Mortmain, a young lady who aspires to be a writer and has determined that it would be good practice to keep a journal. She writes about her home among the ruins of a castle in the English countryside, the eccentric members of her family and about her own feelings as her life changes irrevocably when two young gentlemen appear. 

It felt like such an intimate read, since we readers are being granted the privilege of having Cassandra’s memories recounted for us by the girl herself. As someone who used to (and still tries to) journal about my life, it is no surprise that this format really worked for me. It fascinates me to be learning about a character and reading their story through their own perspective, and I definitely enjoyed getting a glimpse into who Cassandra was and her life at the time she ‘wrote’ this tale. She’s funny, charming and smart, and all of that comes across in her recollection of the things that have happened to her and to her family. I was absolutely delighted to be spending so much time with Cassandra, who is one of my new favorite literary characters.

In addition to a main character I adored, I Capture the Castle is also written in a lovely manner. It reminded me, in the best ways, of Jane Austen and L.M. Montgomery. Dreamy musings, funny little bits, evocative descriptions – you’ll find all of this, and maybe a little bit more, in Cassandra’s story. It was perfectly wonderful and cozy to be ensconced in this world so completely as I was reading this book on a Friday night. I’m so glad that I finally read I Capture the Castle, and got to experience this beautiful classic for myself. I only wish I’d read it sooner rather than later! So, my advice is: don’t make the same mistake of putting off reading this one, particularly if you already like the sound of it based on my thoughts here.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Publisher: Wyatt Book | Publication Date: March 31, 1998 (or. 1948)
Source: Owned | Buy It: Book Depository | Amazon | IndieBound

This was my first read for The Picky Pledge Reading Challenge we came up with for 2017! I'm really excited to cross an item off my TBR for this challenge. Apart from reading one book every month, Hannah & I also decided we would answer a set of questions to post with our reviews.

1) How long has this book been on your TBR? It’s officially been on my TBR since November 2015, though I’m confident that I heard about it way before that when I read Hannah’s review. I only acquired it that month, however, thanks to the lovely Hannah sending me a copy of it!

2) What did you like about the cover? I actually exchanged the copy Hannah gave me (which was the movie tie-in version, I believe) for this lovely floral patterned cover when I found a copy for sale at one of my favorite bargain bookstores. I’m all about really striking, simple covers on my classics, and I loved this one a whole lot.

3) How many books are on your TBR because of the cover? To be honest, as I discussed this month with Hannah, I actually rarely pick up books just because of the cover, particularly in the last two years (thanks to The Picky Pledge!). I do have a lot of books that happen to have pretty covers, true, but I primarily picked them up to read for other reasons. So, I can actually and truthfully say – none.


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