Thursday, March 24, 2016

Book Review- The Blue Castle

The Blue CastleFor the Full House reading challenge I read L.M. Montgomery's novel The Blue Castle. It should have counted towards the Mount TBR Pile challenge and the Shelf Love challenge as well but I bought it in February. :(
Synopsis from Goodreads: At twenty-nine Valancy had never been in love, and it seemed romance had passed her by. Living with her overbearing mother and meddlesome aunt, she found her only consolations in the " forbidden" books of John Foster and her daydreams of the Blue Castle. Then a letter arrived from Dr. Trent, and Valancy decided to throw caution to the winds. For the first time in her life Valancy did and said exactly what she wanted. Soon she discovered a surprising new world, full of love and adventures far beyond her most secret dreams.
Spoilers follow because I can't help but gush!
This post will probably contain a lot of incoherent sentences and gushing because I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!! The ending was the clincher. Throughout the book I was like yeah this is pretty good and then I got to the end and OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL I ALMOST CRIED AND LOIS DOESN'T CRY!!!!
Focus Lois!
Valancy was a different kind of heroine for Montgomery's books. She's 29 and considered an old maid. That threw me off a little at the beginning but as the book went on you really forgot Valancy was that old and honestly I think it was because during the book she developed a younger personality. She wasn't burdened anymore. I'm not sure how to put that into coherent words but I hope you get my drift. When she goes "nuts" and says what she thinks to everyone it was just too hilarious! Granted some of the things she said weren't the nicest but eh... it's a book. Her family was pretty terrible though but still horribly humorous. You couldn't quite hate them because you were laughing at them. In the end, like Valancy, I think you come to pity them.
Barney was full of mystery and while you liked him you just weren't quite sure about him. At least that's how I felt. Of course he turned out perfectly lovely in the end. :) At the end when he comes to talk to Valancy and says "I want to see my wife" I just gushed! :)
I loved everything about their marriage. Sure it was a little weird and unorthodox but I loved it. The walks they went on together were so sweet. How Barney came to fall in love with Valancy and how Valancy developed a deeper love for him is just so sweet!
And the ending! Did I mention how much I love the ending? It melted my heart! And I was absolutely surprised by Barney being John Foster. It was rather hilarious really though. And the letter going to Valancy instead of the other random right person surprised me too. I had considered it initially but everything seemed to fall into place too well for that to be so. I was desperately trying to figure out though how Valancy was not going to die because she just couldn't! As the story went on I decided that Valancy's healthier life in the outdoors and enjoying herself had cured her heart problem somehow. Yeah that was my desperate solution... take my nursing license away! Thankfully Montgomery actually had a solution.
Overall I just loved this book. I felt like it was more mature than the Anne of Green Gables series but our heroine is older. It still exudes the charm that we love in Montgomery's writing no matter how old our heroine is. I just feel like it isn't something I would hand to my daughter like I would had Anne of Green Gables. I think I 'd wait until she was a little older. I did hand it to my little sister though and while she liked it she didn't LOVE it. Obviously there's something wrong with her. ;)
So read or not? Read obviously!
P.S. How on earth do you pronounce Valancy's name?

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  1. *grins all over* I'm SO happy you love it, too!!! Yes, I'd definitely agree with all the points that make for wise/slightly older reading, but it's still a tip top favorite. Love it to such utter and absolute bits and pieces! ;D

  2. Twenty-nine seems quite young to me, so it throws me off not that Valancy is "old" but that her society thinks she's old! The average age for men and women in the U.S is 28, I think, so she's hardly past her prime, haha!

    This is one of the two books Montgomery wrote for adults--the other is A Tangled Web--so it does have a different feel than her other books, but I think it's fan to watch authors expand their work.

    1. Okay, to be fair I'm not saying 29 is old but in that time period it was considered old to be getting married. The average age was not 28 for getting married in that time period as it is now but actually 21. So it make sense that they would consider her an old maid though she really wasn't.

  3. Yessss I LOVE The Blue Castle!!! It's so good! The ending...yes! The whole thing where Barney falls in love with her, too, her love, everything--it's just wonderful!
    I've always pronounced her name how it looks, like Valinsee. I have no idea if that's right. :p
    (I just found your blog and of course when I saw one of my favourite books by my favourite authours I had to comment. :)

    1. Okay that's how I pronounce it too! That's two of us at least. :)
      I'm glad you found my blog. :)

  4. I love, love, love this one. I'm so glad you reviewed it!

  5. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this book too. It's a bit implausible and hinges on some coincidences, and it doesn't even matter at all.

    I say "VAL-uns-ee," myself. How do YOU pronounce it?

    (Also, 29 is 6 years younger than I am now. However, when I was 29, I'd been married for 7 years and had a 2-year-old and baby #2 on the way.)

    1. Va-lancy.... I think. Sometimes I pronounce it like do though. I actually just say it over and over again different ways trying to figure out which way sounds right. It's not working very well.


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