I Capture the Castle

I am a great fan of Dodie Smith's lovely children's book One hundred and one Dalmatians, and have been curious to read something else by her for a long time. This is a completely different novel, but equally good. Cassandra's eccentric father is a writer whose first book took the literary world by storm but he has since failed to write a single word. This tells the story of seventeen-year-old, Cassandra and her extraordinary family of an older sister, an artistic and loving stepmother and the non-writing father, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle English castle in the (possibly) 1930s. Through Cassandra's diary entries we follow her family and neighbours and the changes that take place in their lives. Word for word she captures the castle and all the people passing through it. An absolutely wonderful read, very English and very gripping, in all its strange normality. Heartily recommended!