Kate's Queen City Notes

Blundering through Cincinnati, laughing all the way

100 Books by 40: I CAPTURE THE CASTLE

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Book: i Capture the Castle
Author: Dodie Smith
Published: 1948

A less interesting title for this book could be, Exercising Good Judgement in Love. And congratulations, main character of this book, you’ve managed to stick the landing on this while simultaneously being seventeen. And here lies the most preposterous aspect of the book’s plot. I’ve known many 17 year-old girls, myself included. Sensible judgement is not their strong suit.

But this book was published in the 40’s. Humans seemed to mature faster in the past. Perhaps that’s to do with so many men getting shipped off to wars at 18. Perhaps that’s to do with women becoming mothers at 20. Or perhaps it’s due to a shorter life expectancy in our not-so-distant past. What I do know is that maturity seemed to come earlier to people at that point in time. Perhaps maturity is driven by environment, and the lazy hairless apes that we are will fail to mature until life forces otherwise.

The book goes to lengths to indicate that the main character is mature for her age. But some things require experience. This girl exercises good judgement the first time she falls in love. I cannot suspend my disbelief.

But Castles are romantic. The setting for this book is an old castle in the English country side. The descriptions of the seasons passing over this idyllic setting are delicious.

The book is ok. I won’t read it again. If you love romance novels this might be your bag. It simply isn’t mine.

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