I Capture the Castle

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9781844080212: I Capture the Castle

Cassandra Mortmain is 17. Her journal describes the weird and wonderful world in which she lives: housed in a crumbling castle, with her writer father (who is "blocked"), her beautiful older sister Rose, her brainy younger brother and her unconventional artist stepmother, Topaz. The sudden arrival of two handsome American strangers is the catalyst for this touching coming-of-age tale, which sees Cassandra taking her first forays in womanhood not without her fair share of grief and giggles.

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Review:

Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain wants to become a writer. Trouble is, she's the daughter of a once-famous author with a severe case of writer's block. Her family--beautiful sister Rose, brooding father James, ethereal stepmother Topaz--is barely scraping by in a crumbling English castle they leased when times were good. Now there's very little furniture, hardly any food, and just a few pages of notebook paper left to write on. Bravely making the best of things, Cassandra gets hold of a journal and begins her literary apprenticeship by refusing to face the facts. She writes, "I have just remarked to Rose that our situation is really rather romantic, two girls in this strange and lonely house. She replied that she saw nothing romantic about being shut up in a crumbling ruin surrounded by a sea of mud."

Rose longs for suitors and new tea dresses while Cassandra scorns romance: "I know all about the facts of life. And I don't think much of them." But romantic isolation comes to an end both for the family and for Cassandra's heart when the wealthy, adventurous Cotton family takes over the nearby estate. Cassandra is a witty, pensive, observant heroine, just the right voice for chronicling the perilous cusp of adulthood. Some people have compared I Capture the Castle to the novels of Jane Austen, and it's just as well-plotted and witty. But the Mortmains are more bohemian--as much like the Addams Family as like any of Austen's characters. Dodie Smith, author of 101 Dalmations, wrote this novel in 1948. And though the story is set in the 1930s, it still feels fresh, and well deserves its reputation as a modern classic. --Maria Dolan

From the Publisher:

"I Capture the Castle is finally back in print. It should be welcomed with a bouquet of roses and a brass band. Ever since I was handed a tattered copy years ago with the recommendation 'You'll love it,' it has been one of my favorite novels. Cassandra Mortmain is one hell of a narrator, offering sharp wit, piercing insight and touching lyricism. She is a heroine we readers wish we could be, a young woman it is impossible not to adore." --Susan Isaacs

"Dreamy and funny...an odd, shimmering timelessness clings to its pages. A thousand and one cheers for its reissue. A+" --Entertainment Weekly

"It is an occasion worth celebrating when a sparkling novel, a work of wit, irony and feeling is brought back into print after an absence of many years. So uncork the champagne for I Capture the Castle." --Los Angeles Times

"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 Westlake

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

"Much more fun than the reader has any right to expect." --The Weekly Standard

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Book Description Virago, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: Used; Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. This book is in good condition but will show signs of previous ownership. Please expect some creasing to the spine and/or minor damage to the cover. Aged book. Please note this book is over 20 years old. It will therefore have tanned pages, age spots and plenty of shelf wear. However, for its age it is still very useable, and a great read. Bookseller Inventory # CHL2450742

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