I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith

‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink…’ begins the opening paragraph, immediately setting the tone for the bizarre narrative which follows.

Cassandra Mortmain documents the everyday occurrences of her impoverished and eccentric family who live on the edge of society in a partially converted castle in the heart of the English countryside.

Cassandra’s observations and descriptions relate a tale which is at times magical and romantic whilst at other times cuts painfully true.

When two rich young gentlemen move into the neighbourhood her family’s simple life becomes one of intrigue, confusion and passion as Cassandra and her sister, Rose, work towards the good of each other and that of their family at a game of flirtations, dances and midnight swims in the moat.

With motives that become more and more unclear, resembling at times a game of chess, ‘I capture the castle’ is an enjoyable and evocative coming-of-age story set in a different era to our own, proving firmly that relationships have always been complicated. 

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