I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith was July’s book club read and nearly a full house of all our members! I felt personally that this book had the best opening line I’ve ever read before in a book ‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining board…’
A few of us were in agreement, that the first third of the book didn’t live up to this opening line and we struggled to get into the narrative. However, once the characters and storyline had started to kick in, then we thoroughly enjoyed it. Others stated that they thought it was too much of a ‘young person’s book’ and that they weren’t too bothered what happened to the characters.
I personally loved the bear scene and found myself laughing out loud at this, whilst others felt that it was a bit too much.
We then started to dissect the characters. Cassandra, we decided had lived into too small a world and had quite a romantic, naïve approach to life. Father was an eccentric but incredibly lazy and selfish, in the way that he didn’t seem to care about providing for his family and was quite happy to sit in his study reading the detective novels. Topaz, as one book member stated ‘sounds like something straight out of an Argos catalogue’ and was probably as guilty as anyone of indulging Father and his illicit ways. Rose was probably the one with her head screwed on the most. Refused to continue to live like they did and wanted to marry for money first and foremost to stop the family continuing living in the way they did.
Comparisons were made to Pride and Prejudice, as the society was very much like the one portrayed in the Jane Austen novel.
All in all we decided that this was a good read and certainly for those members that didn’t enjoy it as much, there were other books that they read that they disliked more!