Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Blue Castle

The Blue Castle The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Book 45 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 25 of 25 for the Support Your Local Library Challenge

Book 3 of 10 for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge (Canada)
Book 1 for the Classics Challenge

rating: 5 of 5 stars

Growing up, I'm not actually sure whether I read all the Anne books or not. But, I KNOW I read the Emily books because they were my favorite pre-teen reads. The Blue Castle is one of only two adult books by L.M. Montgomery (the other being A Tangled Web) and is my face-t0-face book club's pick for May.

Valancy Stirling is a plain-looking "old maid." She lives with her mother and her cousin and her life is the same day in and day out. Three meals a day at exactly the same time, the same old jokes from the same boorish family members, the same household chores, the same complaints, over and over again. But on her 29th birthday, Valancy decides to surreptitiously visit a doctor to discuss a heart condition that has been bothering her. The result of the visit sets Valancy on a course that allows her to break free from her oppressive family and truly live for herself for the first time.

This is a beautifully written romance novel that I read in one sitting. I find the problem with L.M. Montgomery is that I get an ache to visit Canada and discover its wild natural beauty. She writes nature with such gorgeous fluidity in this novel. This book was definitely predictable (there was one thing that surprised me at the end though) but the enchanting journey is definitely worth the ride. I loved it.

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bermudaonion said...

Great review. I didn't even realize that L. M. Montgomery had written any adult novels. My only experience with her work is Anne of Green Gables and I just read that a few years ago and loved it.

Becky said...

Did this book at all disturb you a little though? I liked it too, but I remember, being a 29 year "old maid" that I kept gasping in horror at things said or assumed about women. It's been awhile since I read it, and an "old maid" friend was the one to recommend it (to see what I thought). I like Montgomery's work, so I'm just curious if you found it at all "interesting" compared to her other novels?

Tricia said...

I definitely had to remind myself this book was written in 1926. Still, I think Montgomery wrote it with a certain amount of tongue in cheek. I think she wanted everyone to be horrified because I think she was a woman ahead of her time.

Missy B. said...

I just noticed that you live in Charlotte....we're neighbors! :)

Becky said...

I'm thinking that I need to go read this one again! :) While I have this faint memory of "what in the world" when I read it, I also remember really liking it. I also love all the descriptions and somehow want to have a quaint home, with a front porch and lanes to wander down!

Belle said...

What a great review. The Emily novels were always my favourite growing up, too (I was far more like Emily than I was like Anne, although I loved Anne with a passion, too), but The Blue Castle wasn't far behind. I just loved the Cinderella aspect of it. And each time I finished reading it, I'd find myself wanting to read more nature books because the nature writing in the book was just so lovely!

Anonymous said...

I love this book with a passion. It's like a modern fairy tale! As a Disney Channel fan, by the way, I think the movie Camp Rock could have learnt from this book, lol.
I love the way Valancy and Barney's marriage is written and makes me wish we were shown to Anne and Gilbert's more. Valancy and Barney's romance always makes my heart melt.
Aaaah, someone should make a website for this book.

Corinne said...

HOW did I miss this one? I am ASHAMED of myself. It's going on my list now :)