I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I had seen the film version of this on cable several years back and remembered enjoying it. The first line of this novel, "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink" often comes up on various book trivia lists. So my interest was already piqued when I picked up a remainder copy of the movie tie-in edition at Elliot Bay Books in Seattle. I was interested to discover that it was out of print for many many years and was triumphantly celebrated by the critical media upon its return to publication.
17 year old Cassandra Mortmain is a charming and entertaining narrator. She is writing in a journal, but as it is practice for being an actual writer she tries to write her entries as she would a novel, with all dialogue recorded and true honesty when it comes to all the characters in her story, herself included.
She attempts to "capture" the story of her family as they live in poverty in an old ramshackle castle in the English countryside during the 1930s. There is love, and bohemia, and mystery, and adventure and confusion and hilarity and a little sadness too. I really felt for these characters and was dreading the end of the story when I would have to leave them.
I adored this book. I know I will reread it. I recommend it to everyone.