Started – 26/4/12
Finished – 7/5/12
Format – Paperback Book
Challenges – BCF May Reading Circle
BBC Top 200 Books
1001 Childrens Books You Must Read
Ultimate Teen Book Guide Challenge
World Book Night 2012 Longlist Challenge
Synopsis – ‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink’ is the first line of this timeless, witty and enchanting novel about growing up. Cassandra Mortmain lives with her bohemian and impoverished family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Her journal records her life with her beautiful, bored sister, Rose, her fadingly glamorous stepmother, Topaz, her little brother Thomas and her eccentric novelist father who suffers from a financially crippling writer’s block. However, all their lives are turned upside down when the American heirs to the castle arrive and Cassandra finds herself falling in love for the first time…
My Thoughts – This book was the choice for the May reading circle on the BCF. This book was on my list of books that I’ve always wanted to read but never got around to. I’m so glad that i have finally read this book.
This book is about a seventeen year old girl called Cassandra who lives in a castle with her father, step-mother, brother and sister. Also Stephen lives their too, the son of their former maid. Her father once wrote a novel that was very well known and because of this they were quite rich, but sadly he has not been able to write anything else since. Her step mother Topaz used to be a model in London, but stays in the castle now that hard times have fallen. Her Brother Thomas is a typical boy, still in school. Her sister Rose is a typical older sister, but all she wants to do is find a rich man and fall in love, and in that order too. Now Stephen. He is hopelessly in love with Cassandra, but sadly the feeling is not reciprocated.
The castle that they live in is owned by two American brothers, who visit the castle unexpectedly one night, and this visit paves the way for life changing events. The rich brothers want to help the family in as many ways as possible.
I found Roses attitude towards love quite difficult to get around. All she wanted to do was find a rich man to marry, and while this could have been considered normal at the time the book is set, nowadays it does seem a bit silly. I didnt see what would end up happening to her in the end coming and i really thought that this made the book.
I also enjoyed the fathers struggle with trying to find the words to write a second book. At times, he seems to be loosing his mind, but in the end Cassandra and Thomas manage to hatch a plan to force him to write a book again.
I did find the parts with Stephen in it so upsetting in times. He was totally and utterly in love with Cassandra and it seemed that he would never love anyone else like that. Also, when he left the castle to go to London and said he would never come back. I just found that so sad.
Now Cassandra. I loved her. I loved her innocence, but at the same time i loved how grown up she was. I loved seeing the world through her eyes.
This book is fantastic, and I’m not just saying that. Its one of my favourite books of all time now and i will be definitaly be revisiting this book.
Rating – 5/5