"I hadn’t realised you could write a novel as if it were an imaginary diary. I’ve used this device many times in my own books"by Jacqueline Wilson / May 8, 2019 / Leave a comment
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
I’d just started at secondary school and was happily browsing in the library at lunchtime when a teacher wandered past, pulled down a book, and put it in my hands.
“I think you might like it,” she said.
It was I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. It seemed a strange title, and I thought it was probably about some historical battle, so I didn’t look enthusiastic. I took it home simply to be polite—but when I read the first startling paragraph, where Cassandra tells us she’s writing her journal sitting in the kitchen sink enduring a depressing smell of carbolic soap, I knew I was going to love this book.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read I Capture the Castle. It’s a glorious comfort read whenever I’ve got flu, and the present I’ve sent to many girls when they start secondary school themselves. It’s basically a fairy story of two teenage girls living in a crumbling castle and falling in love with two rich American brothers—but it’s told so realistically you believe every word.
I hadn’t realised you could write a novel as if it were an imaginary diary. I’ve used this device many times in my own books. I’ve also copied Cassandra and filled many of my own red leather manuscript books!
Jacqueline Wilson will be speaking about her new novel Dancing the Charleston on the Llwyfan Cymru-Wales Stage, Saturday 1st June at 2.30pm
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