Friday, March 6, 2009

Book Review - I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

A true gem for any age

The intimacy of a first-person narrative often has me missing the characters of a novel by its end, and I Capture the Castle is no exception. Cassandra is an insightful, considerate and engaging aspiring writer, who is at the mercy of poverty and her high maintenance family. Her enchanting journal entries are descriptively vivid and poetic, written with a 1930s English style and taking place in a castle.
Religion is a reoccurring theme, as we learn about old-world Pagan customs, as well as Cassandra’s questioning of her devotion to Christian beliefs. One memorable quote being “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity,” as Cassandra had deducted per the vicar assuring her not to feel guilty for only praying in bad times.

At its heart this novel is about love in all of its beautiful and pathetic forms; innocent, unconditional, authentic versus opportune, forbidden and unrequited. Set in a different time, it feels slightly misogynistic at one moment and then completely liberating and ahead of its time at the next. This is one book where I will not watch the movie, for fear of spoiling its subtle and artistic beauty. I highly recommend this entrancing story for any teen or adult alike.

4.5/5 Snakes

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