I don’t even know how to tell you. It’s one part Jerusha Abbot, one part the-narrator-from-Guernsey–whose-name-I-can’t-remember, and one part golden delight. Hrmm. Cassandra is a precocious teen (in the School of Non-Irritating Precocity, which is a hard one to get into) living in a mostly broken castle with her beautiful older sister and her mad-genius father and his wacky second wife who cooks and irons like a hausfrau but also communes with nature in the nude. They are wretchedly poor.
Their castle comes under new ownership and the new owner being a single man in possession of a good fortune, it is a truth universally acknowledged etc etc and the Beautiful Older Sister sets her cap at snagging said fortune. Various jinks of the highest order ensue, but also this is deadly serious because wretched poverty is no joke.
SO MANY THINGS HAPPEN, but nothing could have happened and I would have loved it nonetheless. The writing is generally clever and good and then there are these sly, nuggety bits of brilliance and I had to put the book down frequently so I could lol up my sleeve. I feel like most of the population at large would dig ICtC, if maybe finding it slow going, but 99% of you people will pick up what Smith is putting down.
I feel lazy about this review, because I mostly just think you should read it. Can you just take my word for it? Are we that bff’d? How about if I barrage you with unrelated sidebars.
Unrelated sidebar 1: books of this era always throw me a bit because they say ‘making love’ when I suppose they mean ‘making out’ or ‘whispering sweet nothings’ and I imagine them badonking and am always a bit scandalized.
Unrelated sidebar 2: the ‘research’ edition: What? Dodie Smith wrote 101 Dalmations? My mind, she are in an amazepuddle.
DO it, guys. Consider it a personal favor to me (and then later realize that it is I who have done you the favor, and that Dodie Smith has favored us all! <- sounded less dirty in my mind).