I Capture the Castle (Watford Palace Theatre and Octagon Theatre Bolton, 2017)

I Capture the Castle (Watford Palace Theatre and Octagon Theatre Bolton, 2017)

Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle is one of my favourite novels of all time; I have read and reread it many times, utterly enchanted by the eccentric world of the Mortmain family. It includes one of my favourite opening lines (“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink”) and characters I hold dear. It was also meaningful to other members of my family, so when we realised that the musical adaptation would be kicking off its run nearby, we had to make a family outing of it. I’ll admit I was torn between being very excited and very nervous about the musical: I was excited to see how they staged and interpreted the characters, but I struggled to see how it would work as a musical. However, I have never been so glad to have an adaptation surpass all my expectations: this was a wonderful musical that found a myriad of ways to maintain the tone of the novel and characters. Read more

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The Frozen Deep

The Frozen Deep by Wilkie Collins

It’s been a while since I read Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White but it was a book I remember very much enjoying, full of intrigue and surprises; so when a friend lent me Collins’ novella The Frozen Deep I looked forward to enjoyable, suspenseful read. It was definitely one of those books in which outside facts, such as it having originally been a play, made me want to read it more. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that it was this work which had inspired Dickens to write A Tale of Two Cities, a novel I had read towards the end of last year.   Read more

The Story of a New Name

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante

There’s something I find incredibly addictive about the world of Lena and Lila in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will remember that I was introduced to the Neapolitan Novels when I picked up My Brilliant Friend in a bookshop last year; I absolutely loved it, and immediately added the rest of the series to my Christmas list. Enough time had passed between reading My Brilliant Friend and starting The Story of a New Name that I had somewhat forgotten the pull this series had on me, but it only took a handful of chapters for me to become utterly absorbed again. Read more