It should be something long, maybe a series, because we have a lot of time to fill here, and there should be warmth and color and an abundance of good food and at least one knowing cat. The air should smell vaguely spicy, and there should be travel and wide open spaces and adventure. Perhaps friendly dragons.
Instead, the book that immediately comes to mind is Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle.
The Mortmains are mostly stuck at home, very much like quarantine, in their damp and chilly crumbling castle, and there is never enough food and never good food at that. It’s the kind of story where you shiver throughout and feel the need to make yourself a warm cup of tea. There is a very fine cat and one of literature’s finest dogs, but the adventure is limited to wondering what Papa Mortmain is up to behind his locked study door, where Cassandra will write today, and whether the rich marriageable American next door will fall in love with Rose. The days seem mostly gray (this is Britain after all), and there are no dragons.
Still, it is a novel that transports from the very first paragraph.
There is something light and buoyant and hopeful and fully absorbing about the Mortmains and their castle.
I Capture the Castle is an unreasonable choice for the novel I’d most like to live in for a few days, yet I love it.
What novel would you magically transport yourself into?
Leave a Reply