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I’ve been thinking a lot about which novels would be on my list of “All Time Favorite Novels” as a result of a discussion on Facebook after a post of an article from The Telegraph about the greatest novel of the 21st century (a little prematurely in my opinion).


One of the books on my list would be I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. I don’t know how I went so long never having read this classic, but I am so glad I remedied this through a book club selection a few years ago. Here is my review from 2010 on my previous blog.

31122I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith was our August book club selection and what a precious find it was.

Written in the 1940s, I Capture the Castle tells the story of the Mortmain family, living in a dilapidated castle in the English countryside. The story is told through a series of journals by Cassandra Mortmain who relates the tale of her eccentric family.

Her father, who was the famous author of a novel, is now suffering from writer’s block; her sister Rose who flits about and becomes engaged to Simon Cotton the American who has inherited the estate that includes the castle; Topaz their bohemian stepmother who wants very much to be needed; handsome Stephen who has lived at the castle since he was a child and continues to do odd jobs around the place but who is desperately in love with Cassandra.

Cassandra herself is a sweet and witty 17 year old, though her writing and inexperience makes her feel younger as you read about life in the castle through her eyes.

This was a book I wanted to savor.


I am working on a full list of my favorite novels with the possible addition of favorite non-fiction and short story collections. In the meantime, what novel did you discover that you wish you had read sooner?