When somebody asks you to sum up a book in one word it is the hardest thing ever. Running through your mind come a million words, and your face turns all confused looking as you wonder how a book could possibly be summed up in one word.
But I think I know the one for this book. Delightful. Absolutely, amazingly, hilariously delightful.
I had never read anything of Dodie Smith before, and, to be honest, I didn’t know much about her at all. I was in London with a three hour journey ahead of me with broken earphones and a dead mobile so I rushed into the nearest bookstore to grab a book, any book, and I am so glad I found this one in my hands.
It tells a story of an eccentric family, narrated through the diary of Cassandra, an aspiring writer who is discovering love for the first time. But it isn’t just a romance, it’s a story of the nature of writing, the confusion of youth, and the exhilaration of new discoveries.
But the thing I loved most about this book was its cosiness. I loved being tucked up in the world of this grand castle, with the characters who I wanted to be my family, and the warmth that came with the funny, honest writing style. I read while smiling, not wanting the sentences to end, they just shed off warmth that I didn’t want to let go of.
This book is something I recommend you to read this summer, particularly if the weather is a bit rainy, a bit windy, and you can just curl up on the sofa all afternoon, wrapped in the world of the Mortmain family, whilst sipping a cup of tea.
Treat yourself to something delightful. Go on. I dare you.