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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 29 May 2002
I have just finished reading the story of Cassandra and her eccentric family and, despite the enigmatic ending, still have a warm glow. The story is a delightful tale of a bohemian 1930's family as seen through the eyes of the wistful 17 year old, Cassandra. The dialogue is sharp and witty and the characters fully fleshed, believable and more than a little odd. Don't be put off by the 'teen' category of the book; it's a rewarding read for any age group. Enjoy.
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on 3 March 2002
I read this book because it's forever cropping up in authors''Top Ten' book lists and if someone like J K Rowling thinks it's good... well, I thought, it must be! And I wasn't disappointed. It's enchanting, magical and atmospheric. Although it's supposed to be a 'children's book', it's definitely NOT childish and you can read it on different levels. I think it's about unrequited love because (without wishing to give the plot away too much!), all the main characters love someone who doesn't love them back. It's about growing up, falling in love and the total joy and PAIN that can be!
I agree with other reviewers: Cassandra is a wonderful heroine. I love her as much as Elizabeth Bennett. One of my favourite scenes is when she swims in the "black and silver and gold" water of the moat at night with Neil. I could feel that cold water when she eventually jumped in!("It was agony. Like being skinned with icy knives")
Has it struck anyone else just how MODERN the story seems? It's hard to believe it was written and set in the thirties. Cassandra's feelings are no different to an adolescent in the 21st century and that's what makes her such an engaging character.
I've only given it 4 stars because parts of it are unbearably sad (Stephen, for example) and the ending wasn't quite what I'd hoped for...
Ah, all this writing about ICTC makes me want to read it again! If you haven't yet read it, what are you waiting for?! (But be warned - when you reach the end you'll feel like you've lost a friend).
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on 25 February 2012
'I Capture the Castle' was a classic that I had never read. Seeing a reference to it recently I bought it and was not disappointed. The romantic tale is as fresh as a summer's day despite having appeared more than sixty years ago. It is timeless and ageless. The writing is elegant and accurate, the descriptions evocative and beautifully drawn and the characters - even the dressmaker's dummy becomes a character - memorable. I would recommend it unhesitatingly to anyone with a sense of literature, romance, adventure.
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on 3 May 2012
I bought this because I read somewhere it's a book to read to your daughter. Well, mine is 7 so I'm glad I didn't quite yet! Instead I found myself riveted by Cassandra and the story of her 'coming of age'. I am prejudiced about books written a while ago - I always expect them to be stuffy and stilted to modern ears - but this was fresh and vibrant and the characters seemed like real people. And oh, the ending, the ending, which I can't tell you, but which saved the book from being a trite romance.
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on 18 March 2002
I was surprised that I Capture the Castle wasn't really famous, as it is definitely a great book. The main character, Cassandra, is really likeable, you always know exactly what she's thinking and understand her. I love the way it's written in a diary form, and the story line is excellent, especially as it has an unexpected twist in the end. The story is really gripping, but I still don't understand why she fell for Simon, the man her sister Rose is getting married to. I couldn't put it down, and when I finished I just wanted more. I don't know what age this book is written for (I'm 11) but I think everyone who hasn't read this book is missing out on something special.
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on 7 July 2012
I am 14 years old and I absolutely adore this book!!! My mother bought it for me, from Amazon and I looked at it with slight disappointment. I thought it would be an old book with boring descriptions. But then, I read the first page, no ,the first PARAGRAPH and loved it immediately. I read it when I was about 12/13 and still love it now! It seems quite strange that a teenager would like this but I love this as much as I love Twilight, Harry Potter and The Hunger Games - which is a lot!!!!

Now, all teenagers might not like it - so no promises here - but I did, so if you like things that are vintage and old-fashioned then I recommend this book. If you can't get enough of action filled page turners then I suggest you find another book, as the plot isn't exactly 'gripping' although in some ways the tension can be quite high.

It is a little hard to read as it is not a modern book, but definately easier than Pride and Predjudice or Wuthering Heights which are almost impossible for me (and I am a very good reader and love English lessons!!!). The descriptions are lovely and I love the funny situations the Mortmain family sometimes get into. It is funny, beautiful and I am so glad my mum bought it for me - I would have never have chosen it otherwise!!! that just shows that sometimes parents can be right ... I'm speaking to all you other teenagers!!!

So, if you love 'easy reads' with humour, romance and an old fashioned style then definately buy this book!! Hope you like it and thanks for reading :)
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on 18 January 2012
This book is just amazing. I loved it so much that I was reading it walking around towards the end!! Right from the beginning, this diary-style novel hooks you in and you can barely put it down until the end.
In this story, Cassandra and her beautiful sister Rose live in an ancient ruin of a castle with their novelist father and their stepmother Topaz. I Capture the Castle is a tale of Cassandra's life, and it shows how, in under a year, her life can change so much. Two American heirs to the castle come to live nearby and Cassandra's life isn't the same from that moment on.
When I had finished this book, I just cried and cried!! The last few sentences are so emotional, and really tug on the heartstrings of the reader. I would definitely recommend this for teenage girls, but anyone aged 12-adult who loves romance and drama will enjoy this amazing story. Personally I think that it's a bit old for under 11s, mainly because the language might be challenging for younger children. It's not quite as old fashioned as Shakespeare but it isn't really how people speak today, and small children may not understand this. Also I'm just not sure that young children would enjoy it; it's not an action book or a mystery, there's not a lot of humour either, so if you're not into romance it's not recommended.
But if you're like me and this is your kind of book, then I can't recommend it enough. A small word of warning, however: Cliffhanger ending!!!
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on 29 May 2003
Have you ever felt you didn't fit in?
Have you ever thought the world had got its values mixed up?
Have you ever watched the world go by and fretted at its inadequacies?
And do you prefer to wallow in the bath first or wash first?
One of the most exciting books of my childhood is back in print, and I almost don't dare go & see the film in case they don't do it justice. This book struck a chord the way few books ever have; The Lion, the Witch & The Wardrobe was uplifting, The Swish of the Curtain was marvellous makebelieve, but the parallels between a romantic misfit in a ruined castle and a romantic misfit in middle England made me feel that life could really be fantastic after all - in the literal sense.
Read this book.
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on 25 August 2015
This captured my interest from the very first sentence: "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink" and held it non-stop right to the end.
Wonderful voice and such a parade of individuals. Certainly one to be savoured again.
My only question - how come I never knew about it when I was a child, as it would have fitted so wonderfully into what else I was reading at the time?
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on 12 March 2014
I bought this for my granddaughter who shares her name with the heroine, as I wasn't prepared to part with my own much-loved copy that I have had, and reread, since 1953! It rightly remains a classic, a very unusual story, beautifully written and utterly spell-binding.
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