I Capture the Castle

by Dodie Smith

Reading Age: 12+

Interest level: 12+

by Dodie Smith

Originally published in 1949, this delightful novel by the author of the much-loved One Hundred and One Dalmatians, still retains its freshness today.


Cassandra, the 17-year-old narrator, lives an eccentric existence in a crumbling castle in the English countryside in the 1930s. Her father is a former bestselling novelist now suffering from a chronic case of writer's block and her glamorous but bohemian stepmother Topaz is a sometime artist model. Money is in short supply but Cassandra and her discontented older sister Rose are forced to make the best of things - until some young, wealthy American neighbours arrive and Rose sees an opportunity for them all to escape their impoverished existence.


Even when she is encountering the difficulties of first love and first heartbreak, Cassandra remains a wonderfully likable heroine, with a strong narrative voice and a distinctive sense of humour. Whimsical, charming and beautifully written, this engaging classic novel will appeal equally to both adult and young adult readers.


Publisher: Penguin

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Average rating: 4/5

What you thought

I was given this book to read by one of my teachers when I was about 14. She told me it was very funny, I'm sure it is when you are an adult but I found it heartbreaking and cried for days after I finished it.

Rating: 3 star
28 February 2017

This book is charming, humorous and thoroughly enjoyable. Definitely does not seem like it was written 67 years ago!

Rating: 5 star
4 May 2016

One of the best books I have ever read. Never have a I felt such a strong bond with a character in a book as I did with Cassandra.

Rating: 5 star
Jack D
27 November 2015

This book captured my attention as soon as I saw it and being 12 myself I found it extremely breath taking and a beautiful story.

Rating: 5 star
22 November 2015

A truly amazing novel . I would definitely recommend!!!

Rating: 5 star
13 August 2015

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Average rating: 4/5