Saturday, October 9, 2010

I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle (Vintage Classics)I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
Evan’s ESS = 10 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = 10 out of 10
Content = PG-13 (Adult Content, Eccentric Stepmom)

 I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.  That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining-board, which I have padded with our dog’s blanket and the tea-cozy.  I can’t say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left.  And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring.

Why:  The quote above is the first paragraph of the book.  How cool is that?  Rarely does a book reveal its greatness on the first page.  In fact, we are so inspired that we are currently typing this review from within our own kitchen sink.  Surprisingly, it’s a lot roomier than you would think, though we probably should have finished the dishes first.

This book should absolutely move to the top of your reading list.  How high depends on how much you enjoy family dysfunction blended with hopeless romanticism.  Many people were first introduced to Dodie Smith through one of the many interpretations of her famous novel: The Hundred and One Dalmatians.  While dogs do make an appearance in I Capture the Castle, this novel is so much more than a Disney cartoon!  Bottom line, Ms. Smith knows how to tell a story and has created one genuinely authentic character in her narrator, Cassandra Mortmain, (you have to respect a character who desires to live in a Jane Austin novel).  The rest of the cast is equally impressive; a father who suffers from writer’s block, a stepmother who has a tendency to run unclothed in the rain, and a pair of handsome brothers who live right down the road.  And we haven’t even mentioned the actual capturing of the castle or the humorous “bear” scene. 

You’ll also want to take notice of the placement of I Capture the Castle on one of the Two Bibliomaniacs “Top 20 Books” and you’ll see why you need to stop everything and read…this…book.  One final word of caution on the novel’s conclusion: BEWARE.  Sorry – we DID say one word.  We definitely don’t want to give anything away, yet we don’t want to say that we didn’t warn you... 

Now, if someone could stop by and help pull us out of the sink, that would be great!  There seems to be a pair of salad tongs that have come up missing.


  1. I found you on the book blog hop.

    I noticed you read the book, "I Capture the Castle." It's been a while since I've read this book. Honestly, I can't remember all of the major plot elements since I've read so many books since reading this one. I was surprised, however, that you each gave it "10stars." I do remember being irritated with the ending of the book. In fact, I remember taking it back to the book store because I couldn't stand the thought of it taking up space on my bookshelf, knowing I would never read it again.

    It's so interesting to see other people's takes on books that I didn't enjoy. (Well, it was the ending that swayed my opinion. Overall, it was nicely written.)

    Nice blog.

  2. Thanks for your message! WE completely understand why someone would be a little upset by the ending- we were too when we first read it. But, as time went on, and we discussed it between the two of us, we realized it was so true to life! Things NEVER work out the way we quite plan, and you can't MAKE someone love you like you love them, can you? So, please understand that even though it is ONE of the Bibliomaniacs number one spot holder, part of the charm is because things DIDN'T work out exactly like we had hoped...