The universally adored story of Cassandra Mortmain, her mad family, her loves and her heartaches. A perfect novel.
'I write this sitting in the kitchen sink...’
This is the diary of Cassandra Mortmain, which tells of her extraordinary family and their crumbling castle home. Cassandra's father was once a famous writer, but now he mainly reads detective novels while his family slide into genteel poverty. Her sister Rose is bored and beautiful, and desperate to marry riches. Their step-mother Topaz has habit of striding through the countryside wearing only her wellington boots. But all their lives will be soon be transformed by the arrival of new neighbours from America, and Cassandra finds herself falling in love...
BACKSTORY: Get to know Dodie Smith, and be inspired to keep your own diary!
“There are many good reasons to read Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle: it provides excellent advice about dressing on a budget (dye all your clothes sea-green); how to cope when the man you love falls for your elder sister (keep a diary) and your stepmother dances naked in the rain (ditto). Given that most teenagers believe their parents to be mad - and vice versa - the novel also serves as a helpful guide to recognising the fine line between eccentricity and outright insanity”
“A book for anyone who is young, poor, fed up and yearning for something exciting to happen”
“When I read I Capture the Castle it immediately became one of my favourite novels of all time, and I was very annoyed that nobody had told me about it before”
“Unputdownable and loved by teenagers and adults everywhere.”
“Everyone I've passed it on to has found it a hit - it works every time, for absolutely everybody”
“So what makes these different to any other set of classics? In a moment of inspiration Random House had the bright idea of actually asking Key stage 2 children what extra ingredients they could add to make children want to read. And does it work? Well, put it this way...my 13-year-old daughter announced that she had to read a book over the summer holiday and, without any prompting, spotted The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas...and proceeded to read it! Now, if you knew my 13-year-old daughter, you would realise that this is quite remarkable. She reads texts, blogs and tags by the thousand - but this is the first book she has read since going to high school, so all hail Vintage Classics!”
National Association for the Teaching of English
“A complete joy of an eccentric English coming-of-age novel”
Kerry Fowler, Sainsburyâ??s Magazine