Wednesday, April 4, 2007
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (who also wrote 101 Dalmatians) is a "read alike" for Jane Austen, but also has a bit of the The Glass Castle in it as well. Narrator Cassandra and her sister Rose live an actual, albeit crumbling castle. Their father was once an esteemed novelist, but has been "blocked" for many years and the family is extremely poor. Their stepmother, Topaz, is a former artist's model who is closer to the girls age than their fathers, but contrary to convention, is far from wicked and actually makes real effort to mother the girls and provide for them financially. Two American heirs to the property they live on visit the village and Rose schemes to "catch" one of them in order to rescue the family, with a surprising outcome. The book is full of memorable characters and is a great read.