Read The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery Online

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Valancy lives a drab life with her overbearing mother and prying aunt. Then a shocking diagnosis from Dr. Trent prompts her to make a fresh start. For the first time, she does and says exactly what she feels. As she expands her limited horizons, Valancy undergoes a transformation, discovering a new world of love and happiness. One of Lucy Maud Montgomery's only novels inteValancy lives a drab life with her overbearing mother and prying aunt. Then a shocking diagnosis from Dr. Trent prompts her to make a fresh start. For the first time, she does and says exactly what she feels. As she expands her limited horizons, Valancy undergoes a transformation, discovering a new world of love and happiness. One of Lucy Maud Montgomery's only novels intended for an adult audience, The Blue Castle is filled with humour and romance....

Title : The Blue Castle
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788087830284
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 124 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Blue Castle Reviews

  • Hannah
    2019-03-25 21:57

    I arrived late to the L.M. Montgomery party, not having grown up with her stories as a young girl, but rather read them for the first time in my late 20's. Knowing what I know now about the beauty and magic of her books, I realize I missed out of some major reading adventures with Anne, Emily, Pat and gang, and will consequently never be able to wax nostalgic about how those books effected my life (which is probably for the best, as I tend to go into sappy, melodramatic overdrive when I really love a book - you know it's true, my GR friends) :PBut in the case of The Blue Castle, it's a good thing I didn't pick this up to read until I was about the age of Valency, because I don't think a younger girl would be able to fully appreciate this story as much a young woman who has lived a little. This is one of Montgomery's only books written with an adult audience in mind, and it wasn't highly acclaimed at the time of publication or for several decades afterwards. It definitely deals with more adult themes, and does so with a very sympathetic hand. I have since learned more about Montgomery's less-then-fairytale life, and it makes me appreciate her talents even more.If Jane Austen's Persuasion is all about second chances in life, then Montgomery's The Blue Castle is all about allowing oneself to have a chance at all. Valancy's road to independence at the age of 29 is chock-full of convenient coincidences that happen in order for her (and the story) to blossom, but those plot contrivances thankfully don't lessen the appeal of the story. While the majority of the characters are one dimensional and make only a brief appearance, Montgomery perfectly captured the character of Valancy, her mother, Roaring Abel, Cissie, and Barney Snaith. And speaking of Barney Snaith, was there EVER a swoon-worthy hero with a more dumpy name in the history of fiction? Good grief, the man oozes sex appeal, but no reader ever brings him up in discussions of great fictional heros, and I am convinced it's because of his name. Think about it:Gone with the Wind: Barney Butler....Pride and Prejudice: Barney Darcy....Twilight: Barney Cullen....I rest my case.

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-04-16 17:36

    If you think your relatives argue too much over Sunday dinner or are just impossible to live withtry Valancy Stirling's family. Written in 1926 by the author of the beloved Anne of Green Gables series, this is the story of Valancy, a 29 year old timid mouse of a person, considered an old maid by her family and the town generally. She does what everyone asks even when she hates it, quails before her insolent relatives, never talks back (except in her own mind), cries herself to sleep on a regular basis, and overall lives a thoroughly miserable life. Her only solace is the imaginary Blue Castle she lives in when she daydreams, and the poetic nature books of John Foster, which speak to her heart. One day Valancy, without telling her family, sneaks off to the doctor to find out why her heart has been bothering her. The doctor examines her, but rushes off in an emergency before he can give her a diagnosis. The letter she gets a day or two later from the doctor informs her that she has a severe heart condition, and less than a year to live.Oddly enough, this death sentence frees Valancy from her miserable existence. With nothing to lose, she starts sassing her ice-cold mother and relatives, begins wearing "unsuitable" clothing, moves out of the family home, and generally starts doing what she wants to without a thought for propriety. It's lovely to see her bloom and gain confidence, and begin to seek out happiness and love on her own terms. And eventually (I won't spoil the story by going into the hows and whys) she finds a home in a cottage by the lake that reminds her of her beloved Blue Castle.This really is an old-fashioned, romantic "wish fulfillment" type of tale, and you have to just appreciate it for what it is. A few things kind of bothered me: You have to wade through a fair amount of misery in the beginning of the book before Valancy decides to grow a spine (I recommended this book to my mother, and she texted me for two days whining about the first part and asking me if I was certain she was going to like this book). The plot is pretty transparent: there are a couple of . . . developments (I can't really call them twists) that I could see coming from the very beginning of the book. But the lyrical, loving descriptions of the beauties of nature, a sweet romance and the witty humor touched my heart and won me over. Forget whatever shortcomings there are and just enjoy the ride.If you like Anne of Green Gables and other old-fashioned books, you'll probably love this one. And you might pick up a few handy insults to use with your relatives when they get insufferable. 4.5 stars.

  • Kate
    2019-04-06 23:41

    An independent story from the author of Anne of Green Gables, written for an older audience. An important and underrated part of the Montgomery collection -- in this story, a young woman (young by our standards, an old maid in her time) rebels against her oppressive family and a conservative society to achieve a few basic but essential moments of happiness. On the surface this may look like flowers and fluff but, for the time, this was a subversively pre-feminist novel. Valancy becomes psychologically and sexually independent, finds her own voice and claims a corner of the world (and its scruffy male inhabitant) for herself. This book had a big impact on me in college, and is still important as realistic fantasy for women living in strict conservative societies (patriarchal Japan, for example). Montgomery's work is constantly under-estimated, and the way the books are marketed doesn't help (the flowery script, the swoony illustrations). There are many layers at work in her stories, and some pioneering feminist concepts tucked in between the deep appreciation of nature, the commentary on the stuffy contemporary society of her day, and the delightful, well-drawn characters.

  • Rowena
    2019-03-22 20:49

    "Valancy had lived spiritually in the Blue Castle ever since she could remember. She had been a very tiny child when she found herself possessed of it. Always, when she shut her eyes, she could see it plainly, with its turrets and banners on the pine-clad mountain height, wrapped in its faint, blue loveliness, against the sunset skies of a fair and unknown land. Everything wonderful and beautiful was in that castle. Jewels that queens might have worn; robes of moonlight and fire; couches of roses and gold; long flights of shallow marble steps, with great, white urns, and with slender, mist-clad maidens going up and down them; courts, marble-pillared, where shimmering fountains fell and nightingales sang among the myrtles; halls of mirrors that reflected only handsome knights and lovely women--herself the loveliest of all, for whose glance men died. All that supported her through the boredom of her days was the hope of going on a dream spree at night. Most, if not all, of the Stirlings would have died of horror if they had known half the things Valancy did in her Blue Castle."- Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Blue CastleThis is the sort of book that makes me so glad to be a reader. Montgomery is an EXTREMELY talented and beautiful writer. Recently I've been finding myself wanting to read more of her work because it's honestly like a balm. There's a feeling I would get very often as a child when I was discovering the world of literature and everything was fresh and new; it's a feeling that as an adult I rarely get close to reliving, but in this book I did see some glimmers of it.I'd never read any Montgomery books outside of the Anne series and anyone who's read those books knows how special they are. This story took me back to my preteens in Africa when I was first introduced to Anne by my aunt who then lived in the Maritimes (Nova Scotia). Now that Canada is my home, and because I've visited Prince Edward Island, Montgomery's beloved home, I have to say I feel even more attached to Montgomery now, knowing first-hand where she got much of her inspiration from. This is the story of 29-year-old spinster, Valancy Stirling, the old-fashioned and archaic word for single woman being used because those were conservative times where a woman who was single after a certain age was considered to be a loser. As the book said, "She was twenty-nine, lonely, undesired, ill-favoured--the only homely girl in a handsome clan, with no past and no future." Our heroine is single, miserable, and part of a large clan where she sees herself as invisible, has a lot of fear, has no friends, and has never really known happiness in her life. In her sad existence, all she has is her blue castle: her imagination. A pivotal experience in her life (no spoilers), however, changes her life forever.I loved the new Valancy; I fully support women who have thrown off their shackles, decided enough is enough, and have decided to live authentically. Recently I've been reading a lot of feminist texts that have reminded me what this empowerment means and just how important it is. Rereading Audre Lorde and rediscovering her famous quote, "My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you", made me think of how apt it was in Valancy's case, and how life-giving it is when we realize that we can totally be free:"'I've been trying to please other people all my life and failed,' she said. 'After this I shall please myself. I shall never pretend anything again. I've breathed an atmosphere of fibs and pretences and evasions all my life. What a luxury it will be to tell the truth! I may not be able to do much that I want to do but I won't do another thing that I don't want to do. Mother can pout for weeks--I shan't worry over it. 'Despair is a free man--hope is a slave'" The freedom and life that Valancy experiences after the big turning point in her life warmed my heart. And it made me laugh to read how Valancy's relatives thought she had gone mad because of course free-thinking women have clearly lost it.What I also adored about this book was Montgomery's veneration of nature. Although the book is set near Muskoka, Ontario, Montgomery got her nature-writing muse from PEI which is, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful places in Canada. Montgomery's descriptions of nature makes you want to be in it:“...the woods, when they give at all, give unstintedly, and hold nothing back from their true worshippers. We must go to them lovingly, humbly, patiently, watchfully, and we shall learn what poignant loveliness lurks in the wild places and silent intervales, lying under starshine and sunset, what cadences of unearthly music are harped on aged pine boughs or crooned in copses of fir, what delicate savours exhale from mosses and ferns in sunny corners or on damp brooklands, what dreams and myths and legends of an older time haunt them. Then the immortal heart of the woods will beat against ours and its subtle life will steal into our veins and make us its own forever, so that no matter where we go or how widely we wander we shall yet be drawn back to the forest to find our most enduring kinship.”Highly recommended! One of my favourite reads of the year <3

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-03-25 01:35

    What a delightful book! Who could not love this story about a woman who gains the courage to break free from the smothering yoke of her family and to make the most of the life she has left?This book was hilariously funny in some parts, always inspirational, and sometimes pretty sad. It was intensely readable, and I loved Valancy and Barney. I could empathize very deeply with Valancy's situation, and I cheered her on when she stopped being afraid, and decided to be true to herself. Life is too short to be hemmed and caged by others' expectations. If you can't be happy with who you are, then what is the point of living? It took a life-changing event to get Valancy to see this, and I was glad she did.The romance was lovely in this book. I liked how Valancy and Barney's relationship started and would always be built on their friendship. There was a deep, romantic love there, no doubt. But, the person that one chooses as their life partner needs to be one that they can be happy to be around, and comfortable enough to not feel the need to fill the silences, but to cherish them. They found a connection as soulmates through the doorway of respect for each other and friendship. A great way to start a great lifetime love, in my opinion.The metaphor of the blue castle spoke to me. We all need a blue castle in our lives, a place where we can go to feel true happiness, a retreat away from the disappointments and expectations of the world, and others' judgments and requirements for us. As I read this book, I wondered where my blue castle was. I got the answer to that question, and it made me smile. This book gave me some wonderful hours of entertainment, but also encouraged me to life my life to its fullest. In the end, the quiet, shy, plain Valancy is a huge role model to readers who find themselves in a similar situation to hers. This is my first book by L.M. Montgomery, and I'm eager to read more of her.

  • abby
    2019-04-02 00:44

    This book is simply delightful. If all you know of L. M. Montgomery is her Anne of Green Gables series, then I highly suggest picking up a copy of this lesser known classic.Valancy Stirling is 29 and can't forget for a moment that she's unmarried and undesired. If her inadequacies did slip her mind, her "loving" family would be quick to remind her. Her whole life, she's lived under the thumb of the Stirling clan, bound to their ideals of how she should think, act, and feel. She's smothered, but not loved. Controlled, but not wanted. Her only refuge is the Blue Castle, a mythical place she's created in her imagination.Then she is given an unusual gift: a doctor tells her she has less than a year to live. With no more reason to fear the future, Valancy is able to start enjoying the present. Against her family's objections, she moves out and takes on a job and gets to know Barney Snaith, the mysterious man in town her family spreads scandalous rumors about. For a short time she's happy, and it looks like she's found her Blue Castle after all. She knows it can't last-- she's dying, after all-- but then things take a turn she never expected.This book is the contemporary romance of its day (1926) and is infused the wit, biting social commentary, and charm. The Stirling family is so obnoxious and so amusing at the same time. Well worth the read.

  • Crystal
    2019-03-28 17:48

    This is my favorite novel by LM Montgomery, even though it's not necessarily typical of her books. It is the sweetest romance I have ever read, full of laugh out loud moments and obnoxious "villains". In fact, this book's annoying characters are on a par with Jane Austen's best. it's a great story of learning to be free of society's bonds and expectations, of finding love when and where least expected, and of the joys that come when you open your heart to them. I completely recommend this book. It may be my favorite ever novel--definitely in the top 10.

  • Naomi Sarah
    2019-03-23 23:33

    This is one of my favourite books EVER. I've read it SO many times I can read it with my eyes closed, memorise entire lines and paragraphs. On the top-ten list, and all that, which is a list very selective indeed. So HOW DO I REVIEW THIS GEM OF A BOOK.I'll try to compose myself. BUT IT'S HARD BECAUSE BARNEY. I LOVE BARNEY.What I LOOOOOVE:1. EVERYTHING.2. Firstly, Valancy. Not only has she the cutest, beautifullest name EVER (don't care what you say, I love it to bits) but her story is the BEST. She has had a miserable and lonely childhood and 20-hood (is that a word?) and when she learns, on her 29th birthday, that she'll die, she decides to go out of the house and 'have some fun.' She's tired of being called Doss and having Dr Redfern's lotion rubbed into her. She's tired of her snuff-brown dress and her room with the picture of the puppy on the doorstep. TIRED. She takes care of a sick girl, Cecily, buys a green dress, and then marries Barney. (Who I'm going to rave about very soon.)3. Cecily. I LOVE HER. Sobbbbb.4. I even like Roaring Abel. "House. H O U S E." HAHAHAH. That bit makes me laugh.5. AND NOW WE COME TO BARNEY.I LOVE HIM. He's such fun and he's so kind and OHHHH HIS LOVE DECLARATION AT THE END IS THE BEST EVER AND IT MAKES ME CRYYYY. I love everything about Barney - his eyebrows, Lady Jane, his history, his HOUSE, his not-caring-what-people-thing-attitude.(view spoiler)[ AND I STILL AM NOT OVER THE FACT THAT HE IS JOHN FOSTER.(hide spoiler)]6. When he calls her Moonlight!!!!!7. When he gives her pearls for Christmas!!!!!8. Their happy summer!!!9. WHEN SHE ASKS HIM TO MARRY HER. AND HE SAYS YES AND THEN THEY DO IT. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.10. This book doesn't only make me smile and swoon and go 'aww' and have feelsy-feels of adorable-ness, it also makes me LAUGH. Because it's pretty darn hilarious. Not only Uncle Benjamin's stupid jokes, but Valancy's impish thoughts. And when she SAYS them. "Your Grandfather would turn over in his grave!" "I dare say he would like that for a change."11. OHHHH WHEN HE PUTS ON HIS COAT ON HER WHEN THEY ARE STUCK IN THE CARRRRR. Best bit ever.What I don't like:1. Sometimes Valancy took her comments on that dinner-night a BIT to far. Like, that comment about her aunts chins. That was a bit unfeeling.2. Why doesn't Barney LOVE HER IMMEDIATELY?!!!!3. The name of God is taken in vain a few times.Basically: I couldn't love it more.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Anne
    2019-04-14 17:48

    Once upon a time...there lived a beautiful young woman named Valancy Stirling. She was tall, with black raven hair, large brown slanted eyes, and pale, white skin that gleamed in the moonlight and gave her an ethereal, dreamlike appearance. Valancy was the mistress of the Blue Castle in Spain; a big, imposing, majestic structure of elegance and grandness, resplendent in blue. "Everything wonderful and beautiful was in that castle." She had everything she wanted, from glamorous jewels to gorgeous dresses, and plenty of fun, adventure, and romance. Valancy had a prince too, of course. A red-haired and blue-eyed mysterious hero, with a twisted grin, unkempt appearance and kind, amiable ways. With him she was happier than she'd ever dreamed was possible. He was everything her heart had always desired and more.One of her favourite escapes, too, was reading John Foster's nature books, which truly freed her soul and let her marvel and wonder over nature's beautiful gifts. With John Foster, one felt such a oneness with nature and a satisfying sense of well-being that it was impossible to resist dreaming.One letter. It was all it took. One letter from Dr. Trent to Valancy, telling her she was dying of heart disease was enough to make her break free from the miserable, predictable and insupportable pattern of her life, and start living her own. In her Blue Castle. With her prince. And she lived happily ever after. Spoilers section:(view spoiler)[Omgomgomgomg when I found out that Barney was not only a millionaire's son, BUT ALSO JOHN FOSTER!!!!!! AAAHHHHH!!! I think that was the best part of the book!! That and his love declaration, of course. Dear me. I was also pleasantly surprised by the fact that it was Valancy who proposed to Barney, and he just casually accepted! That was a fun twist, I thought. :) I totally loved this book. Will definitely re-read!! (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Helene Jeppesen
    2019-04-20 23:35

    4.5/5 stars. This was a lovely, cozy read that I started on a snowy day and finished the day after. Valancy is our main character; a 29-year-old spinster who’s not at all satisfied with her life. Right from the beginning she moans about everything from her room to her family and her poor status as a single woman. However, we meet Valancy on a fateful day that comes with a dramatic twist, and everything quickly sets off and goes in a delightful direction that I immensely enjoyed reading about. Some parts of the story and the ending were a tiny bit too sugar sweet for my taste, but in general I really enjoyed reading about Valancy’s development, and I had a lot of fun guessing where the story was taking us. This was the perfect, cozy read, and so far the best book I’ve read of L. M. Montgomery’s!

  • Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
    2019-04-13 19:46

    Definitely, DEFINITELY a new favorite! Charming, witty, beautiful, delightful. Full of whimsy and heart and as is true of all Montgomery's books, stunning nature writing. And the sweetest romance there ever was (and a leading man with a most unfortunate name...). I laughed and cried - sometimes in the same chapter! This book rivals Anne for me,and that is something! Anne will always hold the top spot in my heart, but if not for nostalgia's sake, this one would sit right next to it.

  • Jessica
    2019-03-29 00:51

    This just became one of my all-time favorites! In fact, this may be my favorite L.M. Montgomery book, and I'm a huge "Anne" fan! I loved Valancy saying exactly what she thought to her stuffy family. I loved the drama and the romance, and the beautiful descriptions of the Canadian wilds. What a great book! It's a treat to read, just a joy with every page!

  • ❀⊱Rory⊰❀
    2019-04-17 00:55

    I had no idea this book would be so charming. It reminds me of The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough. I wonder if McCullough meant her book as a sort of tribute to Montgomery?There's a quite a bit in The Blue Castle that is early feminism. A young woman under constant criticism for not getting a husband and shackled to a narrow existence at home by family disapproval of female independence, breaks free of convention in the pursuit of happiness. I remember my grandmother telling me that in the late 1930s her family considered her an old maid because she was still single at twenty-four. There was no thought in her parent's heads that she might like to strike out on her own; it was unthinkable that a well brought up girl would do such a thing. The Blue Castle perfectly portrays the cultural and family disapproval young women of the time faced when they went against social norms. Montgomery presents the ideas that thinking for yourself, choosing your own destiny and living life on your own terms are not improper, selfish, and undutiful, but perfectly normal and healthy. Valancy Stirling does nothing immoral or unchristian, yet she is punished as though she's been dancing the can-can in the street without underpants. Love and approval can be weaponized if you withhold them from your children; doing so is cruel and manipulative and should be beneath any decent parent. Sadly, I know many people who have experienced a manipulative, selfish mother like Mrs Stirling, a nasty woman who thinks nothing of using this ugly method to control her child. It angers me to know that many young women today are still up against the same obstacles that this book from the late 1920s portrays. Altogether very entertaining and informative without being preachy or sappy.

  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    2019-03-25 19:36

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest🌟 I read this for the Yule Bingo Challenge, for the category of Malfoy: Character you love to hate. For more info on this challenge, click here. 🌟Oh man, this was just the palate cleanser I needed after all those crazy bodice ripper romances. L.M. Montgomery, author of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES fame, brings to the table something wickedly funny and wholesomely real with THE BLUE CASTLE: a story of a bitterly unhappy girl who learns to discover her true self in the face of a terrible tragedy.The plot actually reminded me of the 2006 film, Last Holiday, starring Queen Latifah, and I couldn't help but wonder if Last Holiday was in some part inspired by THE BLUE CASTLE. THE BLUE CASTLE is about a girl named Valancy who lives with a bitter and miserable family, mired in tradition and utterly consumed with ritual and what's "proper."Valancy is kept under their thumb, abused, and mocked for being a twenty-nine-year-old spinster, but her unhappiness is also the glue that not only keeps her family united, but also rationalizes their own self-misery and unhappiness. It's an utterly toxic atmosphere, and it's no wonder that Valancy suffers anxiety attacks and depression, and cries herself to sleep at night as she reminisces over past injustices while also hoping for something more. Her two spots of solace in the world are books by an author named John Foster, who writes beautiful prose on the Canadian wilderness, and a fantasyland of her own imaginings: Blue Castle, where everything is beautiful and goes according to her wishes.One day, Valancy visits a doctor about one of her "spells" and finds out that she has a fatal heart defect, and only has a year to live. She decides that she doesn't want to spend that last year miserable, and begins telling off her awful relatives and living a scandalous but thoroughly happy life that leaves her relatives reeling, and also, of course, bitterly envious of her daring and contentment.This was a really great story. Is it realistic? No. But it has an emotional depth that is somewhat lacking in the earlier Anne novels - perhaps because this book is intended for an older audience. Valancy's depression is depicted with gritty realism, and I felt utterly sorry for her in the beginning. I also liked her sarcasm and bitter wit - she's not at all like Anne; she's much more sarcastic and cynical, and her repartee with her awful relatives cracked me up. That cynicism, in many ways, reminded me of the terrible family in COLD COMFORT FARM. I think THE BLUE CASTLE is written for a much more cynical audience who, like Valancy, hasn't quite given up hope...If you're a fan of clean and older romances, you should definitely pick up THE BLUE CASTLE. It's only 99-cents right now, and the realness of it, as well as the charming and slow burn romance, were exactly what I needed to get me through this cold and chilly Sunday. Be prepared to laugh, and enjoy some of the most beautiful descriptions of nature you've ever seen. I even learned a new word: incarnadine.4.5 stars

  • Melki
    2019-04-01 17:49

    Valancy Stirling has committed the unpardonable sin of being 29 and unmarried. (Aw, crap! I was once guilty of THAT myself!) In her small, gossipy community, she has "failed to get a man," and is now a "hopeless old maid." Valancy herself has not yet given up hope that Romance (Yes- capital R!) will come her way. And if all else fails, she has a rich fantasy life. Though her body may be stuck in an ugly brick box of a home, spiritually, Valancy lives in the Blue Castle in Spain, where everything shimmers and gleams. There, she is loved by ruggedly handsome men who perform "deeds of derring-do" and have mysterious pasts. As far as she could look back, life was drab and colourless, with not one single crimson or purple spot anywhere. As far as she could look forward it seemed certain to be just the same until she was nothing but a solitary, little withered leaf clinging to a wintry bough.But all that is about to change...A visit to a strange doctor about her odd chest pains brings some startling news, and suddenly...Valancy is speaking her mind (GASP!) and telling off her relations with wild abandon!"But I'm not a young girl," retorted Valancy, uncrushed. "Aren't you always rubbing that into me? And you are all evil-minded, senseless gossips. Can't you leave poor Cissy Gay alone? She's dying. Whatever she did, God or the Devil has punished her enough for it. You needn't take a hand, too. And as for Barney Snaith, the only crime he has been guilty of is living to himself and minding his own business. He can, it seems, get along without you. Which is an unpardonable sin, of course, in your little snobocracy."(Okay, show of hands here...who HASN'T wanted to make a speech like that at some annoying family-get-together?) Now, tongues are wagging as Valancy's off to keep house for a local reprobate. And she didn't even take her flannel petticoat! (DOUBLE GASP!)Granted, this book is a Romance (with a capital R!), and that fact alone would normally make my skin sizzle, but...since the romance was between two oddballs who love to read and appreciate the beauty of nature, I managed to enjoy it anyway.

  • Parvathy
    2019-03-28 18:43

    In an era where authors are trying to outdo one another by coming up with the most ingeniously twisted story that one could not possibly imagine the magic of a simple old fashioned classic story goes a long way in entertaining you. With its uncomplicated plot, laugh out loud moments and familiar characters these books has the uncanny ability to reach out and bring to surface "that old feeling" which reminds you why you started reading in the first place. Without much ado this book is based on a simple concept called the "bucket list". What are the things that you would like to do before you kick the bucket? "Live" for one thing and that is exactly what Valancy Sterling has in mind. She wants to live her life before death claims her. Trying to be a prim and proper lady her whole life, Valancy Sterling has had enough. She has wasted too many years living to please others who were always disappointed in her but she has decided from now on she will speak her mind whenever she wants and she will sneeze where ever she wants. But that's not all, she is going to live in the same house with a old local drunk and take care of his sick dying daughter. But the bucket list is not complete without getting married and who better to get married to than the town's most notorious character. Living life takes a new meaning in the case of Valency Sterling. Whoever thought a death sentence would be this much fun. Written with beautiful and imaginative voice the character of Valency has the ability to make you empathize with her and bring out that small part of you that recognizes the unpredictability and shortness of life. No story is complete without great characters and this book has many. The superficial aunts and uncles, the over bearing mother, rival cousins and many more. So even if there is nothing new about the story the book should be read at least for the writing style and the bevy of outstanding characters.

  • Dorcas
    2019-03-29 01:47

    This is a sweet story about a spinstery spinster who conversely is given a new lease on life when her doctor pronounces a death sentence on her. "If I have only one year to live", she reasons, "I had better start living"! The first thing Valency does while squeezing out of society's cage is to see things (and people) as they truly are and speak the truth, niceties and platitudes be hanged!I have to say that if I wasn't pressured by my daugher to keep reading this, I would have given it up around page 45. It read like a serious pity party. 'Wah Wah Wah, I have a miserable life, no one likes me, I'm not even pretty, and did I tell you about the time my special buttons were unjustly shared out when I was a child... I hate this room, I hate porridge, all I want is a dust pile of my own....' serious whineage going on! I wasn't sure I could stomach any more. But my daughter ripped the book out of my hands, flipped the pages and said, "Give it 10 more pages". I did. And it turned out very good. So if you're tempted to give it up, give it to page 50-55 and then decide.And for the record: Barney is quite possibly one of the sweetest heroes ever. No tall dark and handsome claptrap, just an honest to goodness decent guy for a change. We need more of that.And I added a new word to my vocabulary: SNOBOCRACY. I love that!CONTENT: CLEANMY RATING: G

  • Tiffany Reisz
    2019-03-27 19:33

    Pretty sure this is the best romance novel I've ever read. Pretty sure. I wouldn't bet my life on it but I'd put it in the top five.

  • Shantelle
    2019-04-07 17:52

    It was quite nice to be back into the lovely and whimsical storytelling of Lucy Maud Montgomery. After reading most of her Anne of Green Gables series, and enjoying them, I was excited to read something new by her! :-)The Blue Castle told the intriguing tale of a twenty-nine year old woman living with her strict, bleak, colorless mother and cousin. She has no marriage prospects. Her family disdains her. She’s dying. And yet she’s never even really lived. What will it take for Valancy to go from scared, timid, trapped girl to vivacious, free woman? This novel was rather interesting. I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it. It was beautiful all in all. And yes, though slower paced, there’s just something about L.M. Montgomery’s writing style that I enjoy. Valancy Stirling was an unusual but relatable character. I found that I could empathize with her over this and that. I loved her “blue castle” fantasies! :-) After a while, however, her pitifulness and feeling sorry for herself did start to rub me wrong. I understood. And yet I didn’t. There’s ways to rise above such drama. Go make a life for yourself, for one. And that’s what Valancy did! It took a bit of time, but she eventually did. That first big step of hers was rather poignant. You know, like when we start helping others, we forget about all our woes? In any case, I ended up liking Valancy and adoring her story quite well. The romance... *sigh* It was different and intriguing and fae and utterly sweet. I liked a lot of things about this love story. So much fun. And so beautiful. All clean. But I would still recommend older teens to adult. It just more written for that age I think. Our main character is almost thirty, after all. Some things I didn’t like about The Blue Castle. One: a phrase here or there almost seemed mocking of Christianity or the idea of God. I wish L.M. Montgomery would have expounded more on her characters’ faith. Such an elusive element of faith leaves me feeling befuddled and rather concerned at points. I will say though, once Valancy is more settling down, it does mention that she found a nice, country church, and liked it. Two: Valancy was rude and a bit arrogant at certain parts. It was a crucial part of her story, but her sassy, indifferent attitude didn’t impress me at all. Flinging her relatives’ not-so-perfect looks in their faces especially wasn’t a nice thing to do… since she didn’t like when they did that to her! But that actually worked out pretty nicely too. I think I was satisfied for the most part as the story progressed. There was probably a few other things here and there that made me pause. Little comments or happenings that were a bit distasteful. But all in all, I had to sigh at the end. It was such a lovely tale in conclusion. The “old” spinster. The nature books she loves. The heart problems. The fantastical blue castle. The mysterious man. The Blue Castle said “Wake up!” Live zealously! You only have one life. Make it count! To a certain extent, take control of your destiny. Don’t let other people’s expectations or society’s opinion of you dictate how you feel. LIVE! Love. Care. Smile. And who knows, romance and blue castles might be waiting around the bend… :-)

  • Eve
    2019-04-10 20:53

    If a book could be a sumptuous feast, this would be one fit for a king. I had no idea where Montgomery would take me. I refused to read the French flap of this edition, therefore I felt so constricted and pressed down when I read about how Valancy had lived most of her life. Not allowed to have opinions or have any say about anything including her wardrobe or reading material. Ugh! She's a 29 year old woman! So the whimsical and funny turn the book takes really jostled me in the most pleasant way possible. I reallly do need to read more of Montgomery's books. What fun!

  • Mitticus
    2019-04-08 21:56

    Valancy Stirling is introverted love.«El miedo es el pecado original —dijo de pronto una voz suave y apacible que provenía de lo más profundo de la conciencia de Valancy—. Porque casi todo el mal que hay en el mundo tiene su origen en el hecho de que alguien tiene miedo de algo».Valancy Stirling vive en Derwood, cerca de Muskoka (Canada´) , ella sigue soltera a los 29 años, odia su vida, su rutina, el seguir los dictados de su madre y tías, odia las burlas de sus tios. Pero nunca alza la voz , al contrario como hija obediente agacha la cabeza y permite que ellos controlen su vida , desde cómo vestirse y peinarse, a qué comer y qué leer. El único consuelo de esta reprimida solterona es soñar con castillos en el aire, con su Castillo Azul, un castillo de ensueño con cuatro torreones y donde puede estar a gusto con un compañero cuyo fisico varia con la edad de esta soñador. Eso es hasta que un día se escapa para ver al médico que no es al que va siempre la familia, y se entera que le queda un año de vida... ¿Qué harían ustedes? Probablemente lo mismo que ella ;)...La forma en que ella se va de la casa es de lo lo más escandalosa: se consigue trabajo con el borracho escandaloso del pueblo para cuidar de su hija enferma , deshauciada y mal vista por hber sido mdre soltera, y quien fuera una compañer de escuela. La familia Stirling esta horrorizada, se habla desde deshonra a desheredarla y darla por muerta. Todos le atribuyen esto a que esta loca. ¿Porque qué joven decente se va de su hogar sin permiso a vivir con una discola y un borracho? Aqui hay toda una critica implícita acerca de la moralidad hipócrita de los vecinos. Sobre todo resaltada tras la muerte de la joven.Cuando Valancy se siente liberada de presiones sociales y familiares para hacer y decir lo que le da la gana, se convierte en un personaje genial. Su ironía es deliciosa y contundente.«Acudió todo Deerwood; también la gente de los arrabales. Al fin perdonaron a Cissy de un modo admirable.[....] Seis respetables ciudadanos de Deerwood introdujeron a Cecily Gay en su tumba en el decoroso cementerio de la ciudad. Entre ellos se hallaba el tío Wellington. Todos los Stirling asistieron al funeral, tanto hombres como mujeres.»Pero cuando la familia se frotaba las manos esperando perdonar a la oveja negra pues lógicamente volveria a casa... otro gallo cantaría.«He guardado las apariencias toda mi vida. Ya es tiempo de que me ocupe de la vida real. A las apariencias, ¡que las parta un rayo!»¡¡Pila de Polvo er digo Castillo Azul allá vamos!!Para ninguno de los lectores para entonces es sorpresa de que ella se sentia atraida por el otro escándalo de la comunidad, un hombre que conduce un viejo auto ruidoso, anda a cabeza descubierta, y se rumorea que es desde un asesino, a un ladrón y/o un asesino, no va a la iglesia y anda con el viejo borracho que acaba de perder a su hija.Creo que ni Barney Snaith sabia lo que le esperaba XDO tal vez no se atrevia a soñar con ello«—Un plato de manzanas, un buen fuego, y un libro excelente son un buen sustituto del cielo —aseguraba Barney—. Cualquiera puede tener calles bañadas en oro.»El amor por los bosques , lagos y la naturaleza destila por las páginas sobre todo en el ultimo tercio.Recomendado. * * *Probablemente para las chicas modernas les parecerá muy raro que una mujer de 29 años siga haciendo casos de los dictados de su familia, todo porque no está casada. Dejenme decirles que mi tía la mayor apenas hace unos dias hizo el comentario referente unos trámites de que a una mujer sola la pasaban por alto y que es diferente cuando te ven con un hombre y una amiga de la familia que estaba presente estuvo de acuerdo (una es viuda y la otra divorciada) ... claro que ni yo ni mi tía la menor estuvimos de acuerdo. Pero es para mostrarles que ha pasado un siglo desde que esto fue escrito, y la gente sigue mirando a la 'solterona' con una mezcla de compasión, desprecio y la insidiosa pregunta: ¿qué problema tendrá ella? Vengo de una familia tradicional, y por el lado paterno mi tia soltera era vista por sus hermanos como una mujer enferma y hasta defectuosa, para mi era una dama cariñosa y complice para escaparnos al cine, con talento para coser y tejer (por muchos años la unica ocupacion a que podia dedicarse una fémina).---------«Cuando una mujer toma conciencia de que no tiene motivos para vivir —ni amor, ni deber, ni propósito, ni esperanza— asume para sí misma la amargura de la muerte.»----------Mis dos tías solteras fallecieron el siglo pasado. Siempre me acuerdo de ellas.*You can read the english version online here: Gutemberg Australiahttp://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200...I found a number of little issues with the traslation into spanish version so always try to compare both. And frecuently ended reading both :)

  • Tweety
    2019-03-21 01:43

    This is without question my favorite L.M. Montgomery! Even more so than Jane of Lantern Hill. More Heartwrenching and beautiful then any of her others. It will take me some time to sort my thoughts out on this one.Valancy has had about enough of her family's nit-picking, if they remind her one more time about her being an unwanted old maid, she feels that she will burst. Then Valancy finds that her heart is not only having strange jumpy spells, but is leaving her crippled with pain at times. So, she rebels against her family's tradition of only going to Dr. _, and instead goes to Dr. Trent, without telling a soul. “Rebellion flamed up in her soul as the dark hours passed by – not because she had no future but because she had no past.” The news she hears is not encouraging, but it gives her a sudden and much needed will to live her own life, not that of her family.She takes them all by storm, they don't know what's hit them. Where has dull, submissive, plain Valancy gone? And who is this shocking, outspoken almost pretty girl? She must be crazy they decide, there is no other reason why she would treat them in this atrocious manner! For the first time in her life Valancy feels free, she says what she wants, (most of the time), works for Roaring Able and she helps his daughter Cissy, the towns shunned fallen woman. While doing that she meets Barney, a man everyone says is an ex convict. She falls head over heels for him, without him ever knowing. But that doesn't matter, because for the first time in her life, Valancy is blissfully happy. So, so beautiful! Everyone should read this. At first I didn't think I'd like Valancy, I thought it was going to be a "pity me" kind of book. How wrong I was! By the time i turnee theast page I loved her! The only thing I didn't care for is… Barney - what a terrible name! He was amazing as a character though. That's my only complaint, and as L.M. Montgomery didn't know the purple & green Dinosaur, all is forgiven. I think it is good for all long term fans of L.M.M and those new to her works, in other words you must read it! I'll go as far as to say it is better than Anne of Green Gables. I will never forget when Valancy first saw her Blue Castle…

  • Georgie
    2019-03-23 00:51

    Such a delightful start to 2017 reading. Valancy has become a nonentity within her own family, alternately bullied and overlooked. Until, that is, she learns she has only a short time to live. At which point, hidden Valancy emerges, much to the discomfiture of her mother.By this time they had reached Maple Avenue and Uncle Herbert's house, a large, pretentious structure peppered with meaningless bay windows and excrescent porches. A house that always looked like a stupid, prosperous, self-satisfied man with warts on his face."A house like that," said Valancy solemnly, "is a blasphemy."Mrs. Frederick was shaken to her soul. What had Valancy said? Was it profane? Or only just queer? Mrs. Frederick took off her hat in Aunt Alberta's spare-room with trembling hands. She made one more feeble attempt to avert disaster. She held Valancy back on the landing as Cousin Stickles went downstairs."Won't you try to remember you're a lady?" she pleaded."Oh, if there were only any hope of being able to forget it!" said Valancy wearily.Mrs. Frederick felt that she had not deserved this from Providence.To her family's uncomprehending horror, Valancy not only leaves home, but takes a job and - SHOCKER - appears to be completely happy. L.M. Montgomery has great fun with this first part of the book (I do love me a good worm that turns) and the shades of pomposity, hypocritical thinking and envy shown by Valancy's family are beautifully & entertainingly done. The second half of the book takes a slightly more dramatic turn (cue "hidden" identities, and "surprising" discoveries), as Valancy negotiates a delightful relationship with laid-back Barney Snaith. In spite of the mawkish sentimentality that's overlaid most of the adaptations of Anne of Green Gables, it's worth remembering that LMM is a solidly good writer: her heroines are "real" (not idealised), and their surroundings are humorously and cleverly realised. The Blue Castle is no exception.

  • Lois Bujold
    2019-04-09 23:45

    (I read this as a library e-book.)Having just polished off a couple of modern Regencies with the Dying Hero trope, I had asked if anyone had encountered one with a dying heroine, because I was curious how they would compare. The differences in time, place, and style of the writing from this century-old book overwhelmed the comparison, alas for science, but it was a very enjoyable read nonetheless. It's been said that the two Ur-models for romances are Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella; this took a while to settle into its destined slot, but arrived there satisfyingly in due course.Generally better writing than many modern genre romances, but the almost complete silence about sex became very noticeable by contrast. It's such a big part of learning how to be a woman at that stage of one's life, the lacunae seemed less discreet than cruel. Well, context.Good outdoors values, ones that I entirely share. I don't see how humans can live in cities.I'm still looking for a more modern dying heroine, for comparisons. And, though it probably can't be in the same book, romantic comedy as opposed to angsty romantic melodrama. (I've read up Heyer, Crusie, Krentz, & SE Phillips, thanks.)Ta, L.

  • Kathleen
    2019-03-25 19:53

    4 stars and 5 moonbeams for The Blue Castle,a romance set in Canada, written in ~1926 by the author of Anne of Green Gables. It is supposedly Montgomery's only romance written for adults. FREE.Download from Feedbooks, here http://www.feedbooks.com/book/6444/th...Basic plot: This is a coming-of-age-at-last story. On her 29th bday, Valancy learns that she is dying. This realization suddenly frees her from a lifetime of fearful subservience. She says and does exactly what she wants (haha!), and her mother, the miserable Mrs. Frederick, can go hang with most of her other horrible, lack-wit relatives. Valancy thumbs her nose at all the hypocricy, and follows her heart. While it still beats.One thing has kept Valancy sane amidst her nightmare on Elm Street: her rich imagination, and John Foster's books about wildlife. Because of his books, she loves nature and doesn't fear the woods, the lake, or the night. So...walking away from civilized Deerpark into the wilderness "up-back" near the lake, she becomes housekeeper to the town drunk --a likable old rascal -- and carefully nurses his dying daughter, a former classmate. In this rustic shack, she can read whenever she pleases, and there's nobody harping away at her all day. Soon, she finds a soul-deep love. In keeping with her new attitude of fearless living, she throws herself wholeheartedly into his arms. :)This is not always a light-hearted tale, but it is sooo satisfying to see Valancy come into her own. I closed my kindle with a happy sigh, for drab old "Doss" had been transformed into "Moonlight" by the love of a wild woodsman. Her prince has the soul of a poet and a strong right hook. He also has a "castle" on an island, a locked room, and a mysterious past. (And he needs her love just as much as she needs his, as it turns out. )Valancy's spirit is finally free (and that's fun to see). With her prince, she indulges her soul in long nature walks. She discovers her innate sense of style, humor, and adventure -- canoeing, skating, snowshoeing, swimming -- even driving in a fast car. What would mama say? Predictable at times, but Montgomery managed to surprise me with one key detail of Barney's mysterious past. Quite satisfying. Complex yet simple. Layered. Such deliciously demure cheekiness from Valancy towards her contemptible clan. I chuckled several times. I enjoyed the rascally, drunken Presbyterian carpenter, Roaring Abel, and the disreputable "criminal" Barney Snaith. Wasn't crazy about sighing dying Cecy, but felt sorry for her. Quibbles: Wanted Mrs. Frederick to get her comeuppance. Uncle Benjamin and a few others, too. Also, the opening chapters focused too much on Valancy's State of Misery. Too many passive "tellings" about her childhood heartaches. Also, too many passive tellings about life on the island, at times coming across like a list. (Notable vivid exceptions: the rose bush scene, the potpourri scene, leaving the dance at Chidley Corners, the frightening train scene.) I am not crazy about what Valancy decided to do at the end, after she learned the truth, but I doubt she would have continued along that path for long. Hope not, else the message is that we need a man or death to break free.Quibbles aside, The Blue Castleis feel-good, poignant, amusing, satirical, and sweet. A classic romance with a little mystery. Published in 1926, of the "clean" variety.

  • Kara
    2019-04-10 19:53

    Several blogging friends have been telling me for years that I really needed to read this one, they were so right! I had determined that 2016 was the year it would happen, so yay for sticking to my resolution. Because Valancy's story is SO wonderful! :)The biggest reason I loved this book was Valancy herself. She starts out completely stifled and lost. Her sense of self is pretty much nonexistent, and while she's somewhat self-aware of this fact, she also doesn't know how to change it. Until some devastating news decides her on a new course. I loved her internal dialogues! She's quite funny and smart actually, she's just let fear take over her life and keep that side of her from shining out. As she quietly (mostly) starts making choices in spite of her fears and begins finding her brave, her beautiful heart finally becomes apparent to others. I also loved how she came to know herself better by actively choosing to do something big for someone else. And that leads to new friendships and experiences. She makes a few mistakes, she has so much to learn you know, but always has her imagination to fall back on. Her "blue castle", as she calls it, starts out as just a perfect ideal in her head and ends up becoming very real.Valancy's journey is populated with several people, most notably her horrible and stiff family, as well as Roaring Abel, his daughter Cecilia, and of course Barney Snaith. Oh what can be said about the notorious Barney Snaith! (I was greatly amused by the fact that he's always referred to by both his first and last names.) Known for doing everything horrible imaginable, true or not, he's quite mysterious and intriguing. So naturally, Valancy is intrigued. (Hamlette pictured him as Michael Fassbender and I find that easy to go along with. :) While we may figure out where their friendship is headed, the actual events to get there happen most unexpectedly. For this is Valancy's story, and while Barney becomes a part of it, her path is so much more than romance. (Although the romance bits are certainly very sweet and adorable!)Letting go of fear and finding your brave is never easy (certainly not in real life!), so Valancy has several ups and downs. But she pushes on, determined to actually live her life and not let it just happen to her. Which is the ultimate lesson from this story. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured! And if a wonderful little book such as this makes it more enjoyable, then that's just even better. Read this one, friends! Move it up your TBRs, dive in, and be prepared for happiness! :)

  • Susan
    2019-04-21 00:02

    This is the kind of book I remember reading as a child, the kind of book that made me love reading, and instilled a life long love of great stories, the sort of book that I just just couldn't put down, and that made me sad, mad and eventually made me cry.It's certainly old fashioned, but it's brilliant.It's spinster heroine suddenly decides she's had enough of her controlling family, and wants to experience life before it's too late, and so discovers a whole new world, full of all the things she thought she would never experience.

  • Pamela Geroni
    2019-04-17 01:40

    Se non avevate mai sentito parlare di questo romanzo è perché, sebbene sia del 1926, è appena stato pubblicato per la prima volta in Italia grazie alla Jo March, casa editrice che non smette di regalarci gioie, riportando alla luce tesori nascosti altrimenti destinati a rimanere nell’oblio (almeno nel panorama editoriale italiano, dove invece, chissà come mai, i fenomeni editoriali più beceri proliferano come l’amanita muscaria). L’emozione con cui mi sono immersa nella lettura è anche legata alla penna che l’ha tradotta, Elisabetta Parri, uno degli splendidi regali che mi ha fatto il blog, grazie al quale ho conosciuto anime splendide con cui condividere questo folle amore per la letteratura.Leggere Il Castello Blu ha avuto un effetto balsamico sul mio cuore. Vengo da settimane molto cupe che mi hanno tolto anche il piacere di perdermi tra le pagine di un libro. Il castello blu me l’ha restituita con gli interessi: l’ho divorato in una giornata, arrivando a leggere le ultime righe seduta al ristorante, in barba al galateo (i lettori dovrebbero averne uno a parte). Cos’ha di così speciale? Tutto, fidatevi, ma partiamo dalla protagonista, Valancy Stirling: 29 anni, zitella in un’epoca e in un contesto sociale in cui esserlo aveva tutte le connotazioni negative che, almeno da un punto di vista lessicale, sono state cancellate dal termine single. Quando esserlo era una vergogna per una donna e la privava di ogni valore. A questo dramma, aggiungiamo una famiglia che non perde la minima occasione di sottolineare il suo stato e metterla in ridicolo. Come si sopravvive a un incubo del genere? Valancy ha trovato una via di fuga nel suo castello blu: un palazzo immaginario dove si rifugia sin da piccola ogni volta che ne sente il bisogno.Arriva un giorno, però, in cui non riesce più a raggiungere il suo paradiso interiore e si vede dispiegare davanti a sé il grigiore di un’esistenza vuota, segnata dall’amarezza. Tutto è semplicemente troppo, e nulla abbastanza potente da salvarla, neppure la fantasia. Ma accade qualcosa che spinge Valancy a dare una svolta alla sua esistenza: le viene diagnosticato un grave problema cardiaco che non le lascia molto da vivere. Non è l’idea della morte imminente a spaventarla, ma la consapevolezza di non aver vissuto davvero, soggiogata dalle convenzioni e da una famiglia opprimente. Questa notizia, invece di atterrirla, funge da defibrillatore, e decide di riappropriarsi di se stessa e di ogni singolo istante che le rimane. Ed è qui, miei cari, che viene il bello: nel momento in cui si rende conto di non avere nulla da perdere, inizia a vivere sul serio. Abbandona i suoi familiari (che, ignari di tutto, credono sia uscita di senno) e con loro ogni freno imposto da paure vuote e sterili come le convenzioni che le hanno generate e inizia a dare senso alla sua vita rendendosi utile a Cissy Gay, una ragazza ammalata che vive ai margini della società. C’è un detto che amo molto secondo cui se non cambi nulla, nulla cambierà: viceversa, aggiungo io, un piccolo cambiamento può portare molto lontano. La nuova Valancy diventa irriconoscibile agli occhi di tutti, e se non mi fossi trovata, a quel punto della storia, in un luogo pubblico, mi sarei lanciata in un tifo da stadio, urlando cose come falli neri e Valancy sei tutti noi (abbiate pietà, sono stata allo stadio due volte solo perché costretta). La verve della Montgomery mi ha fatto pensare alla cara zia Jane, una zia Jane che però ha aumentato il carico di ironia, infatti Valancy osa dire ciò che le sue eroine, anche quelle dotate di una lingua particolarmente pungente, avevano taciuto. Ebbene, credo che prendere esempio da lei possa essere una buona cura a tutte le patologie psicosomatiche legate all’inghiottire troppi rospi per il cosiddetto quieto vivere. In una parola: liberatorio!E così Valancy sboccia come quel roseto nel giardino che proprio non voleva saperne di fiorire finché non si è decisa a tagliare i rami che lo soffocavano, come parassiti che gli rubavano l’ossigeno. Quando recide le catene che la legano a un passato sterile, Valancy si trasforma giorno dopo giorno, lasciando la sua natura libera di emergere. Si scopre bella, bella come un elfo selvaggio e luminosa come un raggio di luna. È l’amore che innesca la trasformazione finale, l’amore e il contatto con la natura incontaminata del Muskoka, di cui l’autrice ci dona delle descrizioni di una bellezza tale da togliere il fiato."L’inverno era bello nella “landa desolata”, quasi intollerabilmente bello. Giornate di pura lucentezza. Serate che sembravano coppe d’incanto; la più pura annata di vino invernale. Notti infuocate dalle stelle. Freddi e squisiti tramonti d’inverno. Adorabili felci di ghiaccio sulle finestre del castello blu. Chiaro di luna sulle betulle in un argenteo disgelo. Irregolari ombre che calavano sui pomeriggi ventosi; lacerate, contorte e fantastiche ombre. Grandi silenzi, austeri e indagatori. Incolte colline, colme di gioielli. Il sole che irrompeva, d’un tratto, attraverso le grigie nubi sopra il lungo e bianco Mistawis. Crepuscoli grigio – edera investiti da raffiche di neve, durante i quali la loro accogliente sala, con i folletti del focolare e gli imperscrutabili gatti, diveniva ancora più accogliente. Ogni ora recava con sé una nuova rivelazione e una nuova meraviglia." p. 180Concludo la recensione così, con un sorso dalla coppa della felicità di Valancy, senza svelarvi altro sulla trama, ma invitandovi a scoprire il lato inedito di un’autrice straordinaria. Lasciatevi rapire da questa storia che trasuda bellezza e desiderio, speranza e libertà, e che non lesina nei colpi di scena. Soprattutto, ricordate: non è mai troppo tardi per cercare il proprio Castello Blu nel mondo reale. I miei complimenti a Elisabetta Parri, la traduttrice, che ha reso possibile anche per noi lettori italiani godere di questo tesoro facendosi tramite invisibile della sua bellezza, senza permettere che andasse persa nemmeno una goccia del suo incanto.

  • Hannah
    2019-04-05 23:55

    3 Stars - Good bookTwo words to describe this book: sweet and funny. L.M. Montgomery sure knew how to write books that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I grew up, as many others have, loving Anne and the stories created around her life. This is my first non-Anne book and I really enjoyed it. I actually surprised myself as I was reading because I wasn't comparing this book to any in the Anne series, some comparisons re characters happened but I didn't do it as much as I thought I would. That speaks a lot to the author (and to me as well, hey, I want some credit). She created a book, with some familiar elements, that is able to standout on its own. I was surprised at how funny this book is. I caught myself laughing out loud on multiple occasions, usually when Valancy's family did something stupid or her reaction to her family. They're... special to say the least. I admired Valancy's determination to 'live life' (view spoiler)[even if the idea was inspired by her failing health (hide spoiler)]. Her family really was awful and I'm glad she finally stood up to them. Though I will admit I did find her a bit annoying about two-thirds of the way through the book but it didn't last too long. For a short chunk there, she became too nasty and I didn't care for it. And as for Barney Snaith? Well, first of all Snaith? Uck. I know that we learn later that (view spoiler)[ it's not his real last name and in fact, it's his middle name but good lord is it a horrible name (hide spoiler)]. He's not Gilbert Blythe (here is where I probably made my biggest comparisons while reading. I mean, Gil has always been and will always be my favorite fictional guy. Y'all can have Mr. Darcy. I'll take Gil any day.). However he's not terrible. I'd say he's definitely rough around the edges, and that has a lot to do with his secretive nature for most of the book, but he's not a bad guy. He and Valancy are a sweet couple.So, why the 3 stars? Well, one of the reasons was the use of the phrase Blue Castle in the book. I felt like the author used it too much and that started to irritate me. So that factors into the rating. Also, I did not like the main character's almost constant self-pity. It was taxing and annoying. Those two issues were enough for me to give it 3 stars.This is a good enjoyable book. If you've read and enjoyed any of L.M. Montgomery's work before you will enjoy this. I would recommend.

  • Agnieszka
    2019-04-09 00:03

    Rebellion flamed up in her soul as the dark hours passed by – not because she had no future but because she had no past.One of my favourite youthful readings. Sweet though not maudlin, a bit unreliable at times, clichéd even but somewhat really well worked for me. Valancy Stirling, almost thirty-years-old, today we would say independent and self-aware young woman but a hundred years ago she was perceived as an old spinster, and actually neither independent nor self-aware. When we meet her on her birthday Valancy strikes us mostly as unhappy, constantly kept down by family poor thing.Though I was in my teens when I readThe Blue Castlefor the first time, I could easily identify with her, I understood her concerns and anxieties. Valancy is a sensitive and perceptive person, endowed with a great sense of humor and ready tongue, although in the eyes of her hellish family, prying aunts, overbearing mother, pompous uncles and snobbish cousin, she is considered as a misfit, loser and deadly bore. But by unlucky or lucky coincidence, having taken information about the state of her health, stakes everything on one card. She gives up all her past life, her empty days and barren existence, her status of dutiful daughter and eternal people-pleaser to live, truly live and finally experience life. Oh, that joy when you can allow yourself to do what you please,the luxury of speaking one's mind. And so Valancy sets out for her dreamed Blue Castle. I think that each of us nurtures in our hearts the image of our own safe place, the quiet haven, the dreamed secret garden, the place where we can shelter when life is just too much for us. And if Valancy’s Blue Castle would turn out to be just an imaginary place woven from her unfulfilled dreams you need to check out for yourselves.