I Capture the Castle
by Dodie Smith
I Capture the Castle is written as the diary of 17 year old Cassandra, who lives in an old castle with her older sister Rose, her father, a famous writer who has lost his muse; and her stepmother, a dramatic model for artists. They are scraping by with no income and no friends or neighbors when a family with two brothers moves in near by. The diary keeps track of all the interactions between the two families for the next year.
I reserved this book on CD after Eva's positive review as a book that every girl should read. I listened to it over a week or two, finishing it last Friday during a 4 hour drive south. I found it hard to get into but my kiddos were listening to it every time they were in the car and wanted to hear more so I kept going. The characters bothered me. Other than Cassandra, none of them seemed very real to me. And the diary format didn't always seem right. In the end I found it boring and I would have had no problem setting it aside at any point. I'm not sure I would consider it a must read for every girl but my daughter appeared to really like it. One quality in the book that I appreciated was that in the end everyone makes the right decisions no matter what their feelings say. And Cassandra is a very likable character throughout. I'm sure most girls would find it interesting but it wasn't the right book for me.