I first remember reading I Capture The Castle, at about age eleven, wanting to follow in the footsteps of Jacqueline Wilson. (A favorite author at the time, there was a passage in My Secret Diary about how she had read this.) I have been lucky enough to reread this recently, thanks to Vintage Random House sending me a copy.
Cassandra, the teen narrator, along with Rose, her sister, their father and stepmother, live in an old and abandoned castle. They live in poverty, with hardly any materialistic possessions. Everything begins to change when two Americans arrive in the village.
It has been a while since I read this book; on first reading, all those years ago, I hadn’t realized that this was a love story. A very bittersweet one at that. However, at times I found the characters a little one dimensional, and tooth faced at that. It seemed unrealistic at times, the anger and jealousy at times.
The plot I enjoyed far more, with all the dynamic twists and turns; for something conceived as a two year project, written in the US during world war two, this book cements Smith’s legacy.