Monday, December 31, 2012

Book and Movie Review: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Synopsis: I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"--and the heart of the reader--in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.

My thoughts: This was a sweet and beautifully written book. It is full of descriptive details that brought the story to life. Though it was charmingly written, I was not fully captivated by it.

I greatly enjoyed how this book was told by Cassandra's entries into her journal. We come to learn how creative she is and how she loves not to rush things but actually take her time in unfolding the story. The downside of this that there were a few parts I wished were short and towards the second half of the book I felt that Cassandra's emotions made the story appear more confusing. The ending was not my favorite. I have a feeling that Dodie Smith tried to realism by having Cassandra learn a life lesson but to me the ending made me feel empty.

Overall, I did enjoy most of it. I really liked how beautifully written it was and I liked the idea that the characters lived in a castle. I give it:

Book-to-movie review:
This movie did a pretty decent job in reacrating the book. All the main points of the story were shown. The actors that were chosen fit their roles perfectly. What I liked about the movie the most was that it helped me understand the plot of the story, especially the second half, even more.
As I mentioned in my review above, the second half of the book was a bit confusing for me with Cassandra's rants about her feelings. The movie laid out what was going on. I came to understand Cassandra more and I actually felt sorry for her in the film unlike the book.
It was not my favorite film but I do appreciate that it was made and I enjoyed the fact that it help me further understand what Dodie Smith created.
3 stars


  1. Too bad you didn't like it better...I loved the book. But then, I agree with you about the ending. I wish it were more... definite. I had a very distinct opinion on how Cassandra's life should go. ;)

    1. I really wanted to like it a lot more but it just fell apart for me towards the end.

  2. Very interesting to read your thoughts on this! I enjoyed the book a bit more than the movie, though the casting was spot on, but the film lacked something for me. And the ending of the book was a little disappointing, even if I understood what the author was trying to do. Great review!