The Book That Made Me: James Mayhew 17/07/19
I Capture the Castle
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.