Tuesday, June 14, 2011
by Dodie Smith
completed May 2011
At the end of 2010 when everyone was creating their "best of" posts, it seemed like I Capture the Castle was on so many of them. I had never even heard of the book prior to seeing so many bloggers saying it was a favorite. I am so glad that I got myself a copy. Cassandra is the narrator of this charming tale of her impoverished life living in the ruins of a castle. Her family's life is transformed when their landlord passes away and the new heir comes to take his place.
I wish I knew how to adequately describe how much I loved this book. I can't really explain why. I'll just share some random thoughts on what I loved. First, I have to say that I loved Cassandra. The narration was done in the form of her diary and I loved her writing style. She seemed to love life and I loved her humor and wit. Despite being naive, she was really endearing.
Stephen just melted my heart. Doesn't everyone wish they could have someone like Stephen fall in love with them? He was so sweet to Cassandra and never pressured her. He made so many sacrifices for her and her family.
As an American living in Scotland, I loved all of the references to the differences between the two cultures. Just a couple of days ago someone was laughing that I said herbs without the "h" sound. The commentary on how we use our knife and fork definitely made me chuckle.
I would have really loved a fairy tale ending, but I really respect where Dodie Smith took the story. It was really the right way to end it. It was real. Without giving away any spoilers, the decision that Cassandra had to make in the end really showed how much she had grown up. It's really a story about Cassandra coming to understand love. It raises some interesting questions. Should you try to love someone just because they love you? Do you want a relationship with someone who doesn't love you as much as you love them? I highly recommend I Capture the Castle. It took a little while to get into it, and at times it was a little slow, but the ending was worth the little bit of work it took to get through it.
Have you read I Capture the Castle? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have you read any books that you've loved, but can't really explain why?
Posted by Kristi at 8:31 PM