Saturday, 6 December 2014

Half Way Book Review: I Capture The Castle

I had an idea to do a book review when i was half way through reading, then do another when i had finished it to see if my ideas had changed and how the story had progressed.

I have been reading this book for a very long time. I am an extremely slow reader. Also, dog face takes up a lot of my time. Lately, i have been finding it hard to sleep (probably due to the fact that there are only three weeks till Christmas) and reading before bed has been my saviour. I normally end up reading about ten pages because it makes me so sleepy but i've finally got to the middle of this book.

I chose I CAPTURE THE CASTLE after reading one of Dodie Smith's other famous novels, 101 DALMATIANS. It may have been a bit childish but it is an absolute classic. It is defiantly different from the film and i think it paints a better picture in your head because of her vivid descriptions. I CAPTURE THE CASTLE is another famous book that appears high on all those 'books that every girl should read' lists. It is J.K. Rowling's favourite book. She says "This book has one of the most charismatic narrators i've ever met" and i agree.. it is as if when you start the book you are meeting someone not just reading about them.

The story is set in the English countryside in the 1930’s.  An extremely poor, eccentric family discovers an abandoned castle and chooses it to be their new home. The narrator is Cassandra Mortmain, a quiet yet witty 17 year-old, aspiring author, who has no experience with friends, socialising and definitely not boys. Her sister, Rose, is effortlessly beautiful just like her stepmother, Topaz. Mr. Mortmain is the writer of a successful and rather intellectual book but unfortunately since then he has been suffering from writer's block - which came on after an argument with his wife and neighbour. 

When two American brothers arrive at the door of their castle, marriage is the only word on everyone’s lips. Rose is determined to marry the eldest brother no matter how desperate she may seem. Cassandra has never thought about marriage until Rose mentions Neil (the younger boy). Stephan, the Mortmain’s life-long friend and house workman is embarrassingly lovesick over Cassandra. He is constantly to be seen in the barn writing amateurish love-poems for her. Cassandra doesn’t return Stephan’s love but does she have feelings for Neil instead?

I think that Cassandra and Neil will get together because their personalities are slightly different but they have conversations that prove them to have the same opinions. I don't think that Rose and Simon will work out because Rose is too overpowering and she is revolted by his beard. So far, the characters have changed from how they were at the start of the book, which i find interesting and more exciting to read. I feel pity towards Rose because she is shown to be immature because of her desperation. Cassandra has become more grown up and is very humble towards everyone. I hope that Dodie carries on dealing with teenage issues and writes more about the castle and England's history. 

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