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I Capture the Castle (1948)

by Dodie Smith

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,115273776 (4.11)1 / 701
A novel of an eccentric and impoverished English family whose home is a ruined 14th century castle. The story is presented in the form of a diary by the family's teen daughter.
Recently added byprivate library, JeffMay, lattermild, mayig, ednasilrak, mlhershey, ritaer, AJKoch, Suzannedeplanque
Legacy LibrariesSylvia Plath
  1. 191
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (weener)
    weener: Another superb girl's coming-of-age novel!
  2. 171
    Emma by Jane Austen (Voracious_Reader)
    Voracious_Reader: Both books are stories of precocious, witty young women coming of age, albeit in very different eras.
  3. 131
    Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster (mybookshelf)
    mybookshelf: Both are classic stories about unusual young women who enjoy writing.
  4. 90
    Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (casvelyn)
    casvelyn: The protagonists have a similar voice and outlook on life.
  5. 91
    A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper (Maid_Marian, FutureMrsJoshGroban)
    FutureMrsJoshGroban: Much, much better than "I Capture the Castle"!!!
  6. 60
    The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice (khuggard)
  7. 30
    The Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden (Lirmac)
    Lirmac: The Greengage Summer and I Capture the Castle are both exquisitly-crafted books narrated by girls on the brink of maturity. Both are engaging and timeless, and neither descends into the clichés of the 'coming of age' story.
  8. 30
    The Town in Bloom by Dodie Smith (KayCliff)
  9. 30
    The Keeping Days by Norma Johnston (atimco)
    atimco: Similar narrative voice, wry and funny and believable.
  10. 10
    Guard Your Daughters by Diana Tutton (KayCliff)
  11. 10
    Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett (charl08)
    charl08: Both narrated by youthful, naive but entertaining protagonists.
  12. 21
    The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West (DieFledermaus)
  13. 10
    The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford (souloftherose)
  14. 21
    Seacrow Island by Astrid Lindgren (starbox)
  15. 10
    The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz (charl08)
    charl08: Both feature strong teenage characters dealing with first romance, family and growing up.
  16. 11
    Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt (nessreader)
    nessreader: Melancholic atmospheric coming of age books about introspective girls
  17. 00
    Tell Me a Riddle by Tillie Olsen (TomWaitsTables)
  18. 44
    Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (allisongryski)
    allisongryski: Another coming-of-age story dealing with sisters finding their own identities and searching for love.
  19. 00
    The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob (charl08)
    charl08: Both novels include a young female protagonist who is charismatic, surrounded by interesting characters and loving books. And both are funny.
  20. 00
    Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Although I Capture the Castle is a coming-of-age story, not a mystery, both witty novels are narrated by precocious girls who, left to their own devices by their eccentric families, pursue adventures within the confines of quiet English villages.… (more)

(see all 20 recommendations)

1940s (8)
Teens (2)

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» See also 701 mentions

English (270)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (272)
Showing 1-5 of 270 (next | show all)
Lovely to listen to.....Jane Austin but different. ( )
  mlhershey | Jun 15, 2021 |
coming of age daughter of blocked writer living in genteel poverty
  ritaer | Jun 14, 2021 |
Story set in the 1930s. A young woman and her family inhabit a crumbling castle in the country. Her father wrote a popular book but hasn't produced anything more so they are living by selling the furniture. It's a coming of age story. ( )
  Pferdina | May 23, 2021 |
didn't understand at all what her father was doing but the rest of the story was good. ( )
  mahallett | Apr 13, 2021 |
I read this because I felt I ought to. Within a chapter - I was drawn right into it. Lovely writing, and characters (well, at least one) you can develop a real interest in.

The final resolution didn't feel quite so satisfying - but maybe just because by then I was so close to the characters. ( )
  Andy_Dingley | Mar 19, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 270 (next | show all)
This book was such a wonderful, enchanting and unpredictable read that by the end of it I felt like I almost was Cassandra, since her confessions, recordings and thoughts in her journals gave me a thorough insight into her. I also loved how the sections of the book were arranged in differently priced notebooks, which really demonstrated the progression of the story
It feels, reading it now, as if this is the story that every romantic comedy Hollywood has ever made has been trying to tell. And when we come towards the end of the book and a marriage proposal and happily-ever-after storyline seems to be in the offing, I was worried we were going to stray into that territory. But Smith is too good a writer, Cassandra too interesting a person to settle for this.
added by Nickelini | editthe Independent, Evie Wyld (Jul 19, 2013)

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dodie Smithprimary authorall editionscalculated
Agutter, JennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grove, ValerieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steed, RuthIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.
I know all about the facts of life. And I don't think much of them.
She was so scared, she forgot to be a contralto.
Topaz said she had never been on the streets and rather regretted it, which is the kind of Topazism it requires much affection to tolerate.
Contemplation seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing.
When I read a book, I put in all the imagination I can, so that it is almost like writing the book as well as reading it—or rather, it is like living it.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A novel of an eccentric and impoverished English family whose home is a ruined 14th century castle. The story is presented in the form of a diary by the family's teen daughter.

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Book description
"I write this sitting the the kitchen sink" begins Cassandra Mortmain's diary, recording family life in a ruinous castle.  Father is a famous, irascible author suffering from prolonged writer's block.  Elder daughter, beautiful Rose, is exasperated by their impoverished life, while son Thomas, rather oblivious, is still at school.  They are all looked after (in her own way) by their young bohemian stepmother.  And then the American heirs to the castle turn up, an energetic mother and two eligible sons...
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