‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink’ is the first line of I Capture the Castle, a timeless, witty and enchanting novel by Dodie Smith about growing up.
Cassandra Mortmain lives with her bohemian, impoverished family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. In her journal, she records her life with her beautiful, bored sister, Rose, her glamorous stepmother Topaz, her little brother Thomas and her eccentric novelist father who suffers from writer’s block. However, their lives are thrown into confusion when the American heirs to the castle arrive and Cassandra finds herself falling in love for the first time.
‘There are many good reasons to read Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle: it provides excellent advice about dressing on a budget (dye all your clothes sea-green); how to cope when the man you love falls for your elder sister (keep a diary) and your stepmother dances naked in the rain (ditto). Given that most teenagers believe their parents to be mad – and vice versa – the novel also serves as a helpful guide to recognising the fine line between eccentricity and outright insanity.’ Telegraph
‘Everyone I’ve passed it on to has found it a hit – it works every time, for absolutely everybody.’ Nigella Lawson
‘Unputdownable and loved by teenagers and adults everywhere.’ Observer
The Making of a Writer
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