I just finished reading a very sweet book called “I Capture the Castle” by Dodie Smith.
My sister recommended this book. She had read it recently and was probably attracted to it’s English setting (she’s moving to England soon herself) and the eccentric lives of the girls in the book. Having grown up in a creative and somewhat eccentric family ourselves, it’s a fun thing to read about because it reminds you of funny childhood memories.
The Narrative voice of the story, Cassandra, throws in lots of references to writers, especially Jane Austen- also a good way to win me over.
Her family is destitute and living in a ruin of a castle for which they are behind on the rent. The father was once a novelist and the stepmother was once a model. The story shares their adventures as the girls grow into adulthood.
One of the things that surprised me was how current the book seemed. It was written 1948 by the author best known for ‘The Hundred and One Dalmatians’, but so much of it reads like a tour through my favorite blogs…..
Girls talking to their dress form, and imagining what she would say back…..
Photo from Giannetti Home
Dying clothes to give them new life…..
Photo from Free People Vintage
Wildflowers growing up through an old iron bedstead….. Photo from Opening the Door, Walking Outside
And people trying to live a life with joy and art and creativity and writing.
Recently a movie adaptation was made, though I believe it is Rated R due to nudity (there’s a little sun worshipping and communing with nature going on in the book). The novel, however, is great for readers of all ages- and those like me with a high ‘blush factor’.
Another thing gained for me was that now I have christened my dress form ‘Miss Blossom’ after Rose and Cassandra’s confidant in the book. I have tried to think of other names for her, especially a name drawn from Austen, but could never find one that fit. I should have known she was more of a motherly counselor than a heroine herself.