"I Capture the Castle" was Dodie Smith's first novel. She wrote it in 1948 while on a sojourn to America. The sojourn was a move to avoid the British draft by her husband! Home- sickness inspired her to write "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink."
Although Smith missed her home, she and Beesley stayed in America for many years after the war ended -- they didn't want to put their Dalmatian dogs through the six months' quarantine that was then required to bring pets into England. ( from B&N Meet the Writers) Sound familar. "101 Dalmatians" came out in 1958.