Book Review: I Capture the Castle

June 8, 2012

by Dodie Smith (She wrote 101 Dalmations! I didn't know that.)
I listened to the Audio book, which is abridged, sadly.
YA Fiction
You might like this book if you like well-written, clever fiction with interesting female characters or if you enjoy coming-of-age stories.

I feel certain I read this when I was a kid because I feel certain there was a copy of it on the bookshelves in the living room of my house. However, I have no memory of it and so I put this abridged version on for a marathon knitting session the other day. It was delightful.

Fun story, interesting characters, beautiful writing, clever language-this one has the whole package. If you need something to help you remember what it is like to be young and romantic and smarter than most of the rest of the world but yet also unsure about everything, read this book.

It's about a quirky family that have fallen on hard times yet live in a fascinating English castle. It seems like it's between the great wars, so maybe in the 30's?  There are two sisters, the pretty one and the smart one, as it so often happens, but there is more to both of them than that. There are two interesting American men, naturally. There is a gorgeous and warm-hearted stepmother. There is an eccentric and somewhat mysterious father. And a handsome local boy, and a brother.

They all play their parts in a lovely little story of trying to figure things out and I just loved it. It was a perfect little novel for a quiet afternoon.

Now I have to read the book and see what I missed in the abridged version. Also, there is a film version that looks promising-Romola Garai and Bill Nighy and other greats, but it is rated R?! Maybe that's what was abridged out in the audio version. I'm very curious. If you've seen the film, do tell.


  1. Definitely read the book. It's absolutely delightful. I haven't seen the movie because of the "R" rating, but I've been sorely tempted..... I'm pretty sure they would have to add something in that wasn't in the book to get that rating.

  2. (i just keep watching the g-rated trailer!) I LOVE that book, and love ANY book that has me laughing out loud in public places!!


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