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on 23 August 2017
I Capture The Castle is on of my favourite books of all time. I first read it as a young teenager, but have read it repeatedly over the years.
It is very much a coming of age story, as the protagonist Cassandra develops from a selfish, naive young woman into someone slightly more understanding and mature. She is both intelligent and observant but is also an unreliable narrator at times, in a realistic way. The novel has a very poignant feel, but is also filled with humorous moments. I will always love this book
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on 22 March 2018
This is a lovely book and an engrossing read. Written in the style of a journal by a girl in her late teens, it is described as a coming of age book. The setting is beautifully described by someone who has a real eye for the environment created in this story and the characters are rounded and develop in the way that a blossoming young woman might well interpret the people around her - i.e. it's her awareness of them that develops as much as they do. There are lots of moments which have you smiling a wry grin or laughing out loud, other moments which bring a lump to your throat, and I found myself thinking of the characters as real people at times and feeling for them or worrying about them even when not reading the book. I read this for a book club, but am really pleased that they introduced me to this lovely book which otherwise I may never have read.
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on 11 September 2017
This is a beautifully told story, it's a large novel but worth persevering with. If you're a woman you'll probably understand Cassandra and emphasis with her. Reading as a male I took the collective people in the novel. I like the first half before the complicated romantic feelings come out, but it resolves itself in the end, or half resolves itself, I won't say more I don't want to spoil the novel by giving the ending away. All the smaller characters, the vicar, the Librarian are interesting to. Read it, don't give up on it if it seems to lag in the middle, finish it and you won't be disappointed
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on 9 November 2015
Love this book on a second (many years after the first) reading! Dodie is a lovely writer, for adults - I remember I didn't as a kid enjoy the 101 Dalmatians ..but her style and imagination here are delightful.

Recommended to anyone who wants to understand the magical years of the late 1930s (book was published in 1949, written in the Second Wolrd War, and evokes the England Dodie had left behind) - magical for those with money or at least 'distressed gentry'. A YA novel before its time.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 May 2013
This book is the tale of 17 year old Cassandra Mortmain's growing up in the 1930s. It has a wonderfully vintage feel about it as the impoverished family of once-successful author rent a castle. Cassandra, Thomas and Rose's mother died when they were young and their father has remarried the resourceful and artistic Topaz, giving them a very youthful step-mother. I rather liked Topaz! Their father's writer's block results in a horrible poverty from which the girls and their younger brother vow to escape. The arrival of two good looking brothers seem to be their very best opportunity.

I really enjoyed the writing style here, with the backward glance to the 30s. Cassandra who fancies herself a writer in her father's footsteps, continually fills her days and her notebooks with observations of the family, their visitors, Stephen who looks after the grounds and grows the vegetables on which they just about subsist, and her hopes and dreams of true love. There are some beautiful little scenes here, some really memorable phrases as the guileless Cassandra plots and worries about her sister Rose and her love-life. I enjoyed this very much.
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on 3 December 2017
It is good. The problem is that I could not get myself to care for most of the characters. I just wanted to reach the end, see Yes, no surprise there...but it was missing any big excitement for me. Still, do recommend.
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on 1 June 2017
I loved this book
It was beautifully written , honest and truly refreshing
I will certainly be recommending it for my ladies book club
The author paints vibrant pictures in your mind of "old" England and her eccentric family
Totally engaging
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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 30 September 2015
I really wish I had read this book when I was 12. It is full of adolescent insight about family life and other events and is a wry take on eccentric adults. It is very atmospheric, and if a sub-teenage or teenage reader has ever found castles boring, she will probably change her mind when she reads this.

In general, this is a book which can be read by people of all ages and it remains a classic. For further discussion: What would have happened to the characters during and after the Second World War?
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on 25 February 2011
I didn't realise until I told my family that I was reading (and loving) I capture the Castle, that it turns out every member of my family (Sister, Mum & Dad) had also read and loved it. Apparently my Mum used to read it once a year when she was young.

It's the story of Cassandra, and her wonderfully eccentric but funny family. It's about how they're all tip-toeing around their father trying to get him to start writing again, it's about the glorious stepmother Topaz, the beautiful but unhappy Rose, the mysterious romantic Castle they live in and about the American family that come to visit their Castle.

I suppose it's a coming of age story, but it's so much more than that. It's love and loss, all captured in Cassandra's diary.

I loved it, and then went on and bought the film version too! Timeless.
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