2011: 112. Favorite Books: The Blue Castle


"If it had not rained on a certain May morning Valancy Stirling's whole life would have been entirely different."

The Blue Castle, L.M. Montgomery

      Well, as has become my tradition, I finally am finishing my 2011 book blogging in late March of 2012, following my now-traditional late March blogging lull.  Luckily, I am picking it back up with one of my very favorite books of all time.  Maybe the best Montogomery book, The Blue Castle.

      The Blue Castle is the story of Valancy Stirling, an old maid (at 29! the horror!!), who lives with her overbearing mother, and her overbearing clan, in a sad house, where all the life has been squashed out of her (indeed, she is like Jane, if Jane had never met her father).  Her only escapes are the books of the naturalist John Foster (her mother doesn't allow novels) and her imagination, where she escapes to her Blue Castle in Spain.  She might have gone on like that forever, until she decides to consult a doctor about a heart problem and learns that she has less than a year to live.  Suddenly Valancy decides she will live what life she has left - and we're off to the races.

       There is so much good stuff here - the parts when Valancy starts speaking her mind to her horrible clan are some of the best writing Montgomery has done (and so funny!) and Valancy's bravery in damning convention and going to take care of poor Cissy Gay is sweet.  And, of course, there is Barney Snaith - the least romantic name for the most romantic love interest.  Barney is the best of the Montgomery heroes - better than Gilbert, better than Walter.  Seriously, if you've never read The Blue Castle, you HAVE to.*

Categories:  Fiction, Re-Read, Favorite Books, L.M. Montgomery Project

       *I must bring up the one weird part - I once found a book by Colleen McCullough (of The Thorn Birds Fame) called The Ladies of Missalongah that straight up plaigarizes the plot of The Blue Castle.  MAAAAYBE you could call it an homage, but how strange is that?



© Carrie Dunsmore 2017