Beth's Reviews > I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
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's review
Oct 10, 10

bookshelves: literary_fiction
Read in July, 2010

An entertaining novel from the author of 101 Dalmatians (who knew?). The most fascinating aspect was her description of a formerly well-off, educated family falling on extremely hard times, experiencing fairly dire poverty (not enough to eat, poor prospects for making money, etc.). She carefully explores, too, the specific problems for young women in that situation in England in the 30s—the limitations placed on their futures, their dependence on men to "save" them, etc. Smith was no progressive, but she did seem to question the assumption that women should be dependent on men, that their best hope should be in marriage to a kind, well-off man, and that they don't need an independent future of their own. In the 30s, of course, there weren't a lot of examples to counter that view, so it's not surprising that Smith merely questions those ideas but doesn't ultimately offer any alternatives.

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