One of my favorite books of all time . . . that I can never recommend to anyone.
The first two thirds of the book are lovely. Cassandra lives in a dilapidated castle with her eccentric family, which includes a brilliant father who has suffered writer's block after publishing a brilliant novel ten years prior. As an aspiring writer herself, Cassandra details everything in her journal in an attempt to "capture" the events and beauty around her. And she does so in the most charming and readable way possible! When I say I fell in love with this book two pages in, I mean I was unreconcilable to the thought of putting it down until I was done. I talked about it incessantly, read parts aloud, tried to mimic the writing style for school essays, yeah, it was love.
Or, was love for the first two thirds. Then the story goes horribly wrong when the most complicated love (pentagon?) surfaces. Cassandra, for all her artistic and brilliant leanings, becomes a sop that can't be happy for her sister and who pines away after her sister's fiance. Which ends up not mattering when it turns out her sister loves the man's brother instead, who coincidentally Cassandra liked initially. There is much crying and complaining and awkwardness and eloping. Cassandra feels bad, and so refuses to pursue her infatuation for her sister's fiance after he is dumped and available. Plus, the Gilbert-esque character who has loved Cassandra all along gets hung out to dry. Repeatedly.
Cassandra had become my friend - I admired her for her wit and skill and imagination, she was so loveable! And then she turned into a whining, selfish, and infatuated twit. And she expected you to love her for it still. I really couldn't help myself, by the time I made it to the end, my only thoughts were, "That was rot. I loved it." It's one of my favorite books of all time. For no real good reason. And while I'm kind of ashamed of that, because it certainly says something about me, I feel as though a book that can move you to such deep dedication to a fictional character that you forgive them for being stupid, loving them still, that's a book that is worthy of being well-loved.