A great opening line, an imaginative structure and an artless narrator all make this novel a really enjoyable read.
The settings and characters are well drawn and memorable. Mortmain and Topaz in particular are lightly but clearly sketched to good effect.
The author, through the character of Cassandra, compares her story on several occassions to Jane Austen's and the Bronte's works. Although surely tongue in cheek, this comparison is not unwarranted. The unhurried descriptions of people and place are similar in many ways to Eighteenth Century novels with their slow, dense plots rather light on action and with solidly constucted background worlds.
Unlike these classic works, "I Capture The Castle" is supposedly a children's book, but the protagonists are about the same age as the Bennett sisters and the total of graphically described "adult" material is the same in this work as in an Austen novel...i.e. there is none.
So, this novel is a "Pride and Prejudice" for the Twentieth Century: of its time but timeless, serious but funny, involving and beautifully written. There can surely be no higher praise.
Now, if I can just get this tap to stop dripping on my keyboard.