Thursday, June 2, 2011

Book Review -- I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

My enjoyment rating:  3 out of 5 stars

Book Source:  Personal copy

Summary: I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"--and the heart of the reader--in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.

This has been on my TBR list for MONTHS! I finally picked it up around the time of the Royal Wedding (castles, English countryside, romance – seemed appropriate, right?), thinking I would be swept away in adolescent love – but I wasn’t.

It took me a MONTH to read this – an eternity in literary years. I may have gotten sidetracked on a few occasions when we were without power in May, and I had to read by candlelight, but this was not a book that kept my interest, and one I had to force to read and finish.

Things I liked/loved: Cassandra, the teenage narrator. I completely agree with the blurb that she was “enchanting” – she was lovely to read and embrace. However, the story that was woven around her just didn’t make magic for me: a pair of American brothers (who happen to be Cassandra’s family’s landlords) an eccentric father, a kooky step mother, an older, yet, immature sister, a family “servant” who is trying to woo Cassandra by becoming an actor – none of it worked and it was all very odd.

This came HIGHLY recommended, so I’m disappointed I didn’t like it more.

Maybe a result of wrong time, wrong mood, and no light.


Amused said...

I read this book when I was in highschool and while I didn't love it I definitely liked it. Maybe it was because I was closer to the main characters age!

Care said...

I'll still keep it on my tbr. :)

Jessica said...

I havent read it but I have read so many reviews that have raved about it but you will never find a book that EVERYONE loves and your just the one that doesnt love it on this occasion (makes a change from it being me) The film is good though if you happen to come across it.

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm sad you didn't like this one, I really loved it. I think it has so much to do with expectation as well- I went in with zero expectations, and was pleasantly surprised.

Pepso said...

I bought it recently for my wife, because it was highly recommended by some of my girl friends and you know what? I ended up reading it!

Even though I'm a man, I still liked the story, even if the characters were a bit stereotypical.

It reminded me of another book I read recently - Trouble In The Camera Club. If I can recommend something, it would be this new book. Here you can check out the review.

Keep up the good work!

Bailey said...

It's no fun to have to force yourself to finish one! I find that my moods seem to have a lot to do with how I like a book... and the no electricity thing can make it challenging too :) Thanks for the review.