Monday, August 17, 2009

I Capture the Castle/Lost in Austen

In following along with the book club reading, the next book was I Capture the Castle. I've read this book several times and happened to just rewatch the movie recently, so I decided not to re-read it right now, but I wanted to mention it. It's an excellent story by the author of 101 Dalmatians, Dodie Smith. It's about a family in 1930s England living in this decrepit old castle. The characters are all a bit (or a lot) eccentric. It's a coming of age story about a girl named Cassandra. It's also about how love doesn't always work out right. You sometimes fall for the wrong person, or maybe they're almost the right person but they don't love you back, or a wonderful person is in love with you but you aren't in love with them. It's messy, and not everything works out neatly in the end. It's more of a Bronte sisters love story than a Jane Austen love story. Actually, it has a lot in common with the Brontes - creepy old settings in large houses, families who were once rich but have fallen from grace, odd characters. It's quite wonderful.
I also wanted to mention a wonderful literary-related movie I saw recently - Lost in Austen. It's perfect for anyone who has ever fallen slightly in love with Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth Bennett finds a doorway to modern England, which leads to a modern girls apartment. They trade places and the girl ends up in Pride and Prejudice. It's hilarious. And it's wonderful that they got all of the characters right - they're just they way I pictured them in the book. What's interesting seeing it play out with her there though is you change your impression of some characters. It's quirky, but wonderful.

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