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The Blue Castle

4.7 out of 5 stars 531 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0553280517
ISBN-10: 0553280511
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Editorial Reviews


"Montgomery writes beautifully and brings tears of both sorrow and joy on the turning of every page."  —Guardian --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

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.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (April 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553280511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553280517
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (531 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #796,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read this book many, many times. In fact, I have three paperback copies as well as a hard cover that my beloved husband searched and searched for. This book spoke to both myself and my husband. I read it for the first time when I was just a homely kid. I 'made' my husband read it and he fell for the poetry and beauty of the novel just as I had. We called each other Barney and Valancy after the characters and we called our home 'Our Blue Castle' because of how the novel affected us. My beloved husband died on April 28, 2002 of cancer. In his hands, in his casket, he carries a copy of The Blue Castle in honour of our love for each other and the love that L.M. Montgomery expresses without becoming 'harlequinesque' or vulgar. I am 38 and I plan to read it many, many more times before I give a copy to my 11 year old daughter! Love, true love, is not common but can happen at any age.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
L.M. Montgomery's works interested me at an early age. I first saw the Anne of Green Gables movies and years later read "Anne of Avonlea". I loved the atmosphere and the characters and wanted to know more of Anne. After reading the series, I knew I had to read more by this author. "The Blue Castle" caught my eye one day just because of the name. I read it right away and as soon as I was done I HAD to read it over again! I was completely enchanted, as I am DELIGHTED to see that others are too.
Valancy's mother and aunt really got on my nerves and the entrance of Barney Snaith just driving by intrigued me to no end. Valancy in one of those enlighted spirits who is weighted down by her stodgy, judgemental relatives. She feels she is just doomed to waste away into old-maidenhood or maybe fall over dead. She has no hope of being married and considers herself plain with a "too-small nose". She dares not dress or do her hair as she wishes and can't even speak out of turn when twitted even though she is 29 years old! She hates the house, she hates her room, she hates her life, she hates the strict schedule she forced into as if she is still a child. She even is still called "Doss", her hated childhood nickname. A trip to an "unapproved" doctor turns all this around and she rebels against her family's oppression. After finding that a childhood schoolmate is dying, Valancy goes to nurse her where she becomes friends with the aforementioned Barney. Barney drives a beat-up rattle trap car "Lady Jane Grey" and mostly keeps to himself on his own little island, leading Valancy's nasty family to refer to him as "jailbird", criminal, drunk, etcetera. Valancy feels just the opposite.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Blue Castle is a perfect example of marketing gone very, VERY wrong. Those silly publishers who gave this wonderful book such a tawdry cover and shallow synopsis have done L. M. Montgomery and Valancy Stirling a huge disservice. This isn't a conventional romance, but an inspiring story of a woman who takes control of her life and discovers a beautiful world living her dream, her Blue Castle. The positive reviews may sound a little over-enthusiastic, but women and girls have reaffirmed this book as an all-time favorite time and time again. Everyone I know who has read this wishes they had gotten to it sooner and/or laments its undeserved obscurity. My sister and I fight over our copy, stupid cover and all, since we both feel compelled to read it a few times a year.
Here's why: Valancy Stirling is an Everywoman - all of us can relate to her helplessness and apathy, her joys and triumphs. In Valancy's case, her intimidating, suffocating family and poverty have instilled fear from a young age, when she was an insignificant little girl. After a lifetime of negative comments, she finds herself a hopeless, though respectable, old maid at the age of 29, unloved and unwanted even by her own mother. Then Dr. Trent tells her she has a terminal heart condition, and Valancy throws all caution to the winds, deciding to really *live* for her last few months.
Her repressed personality and spirit finally express themselves, often humorously and cheekily. She says what's on her mind, sees her relatives as the sillies they are, and very importantly, refuses to wear her hated red flannel petticoat. You will feel deliciously refreshed as Valancy lives on her own terms for once.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anyone who thinks L.M. Montgomery is just a children's author should read this book. Although it's appropriate for younger ages and its reading level may not be very demanding, I think adults would appreciate the wit and insights in this novel more than younger readers might. I discovered The Blue Castle at 25, at a time when I wasn't all that interested in adolescent literature. Reading it felt like discovering a long-lost friend. Montgomery's keen sense of human nature shapes characters so real that I'd swear I've met them. I've read this book so many times that I've worn out two copies of it. This is my favorite book by this author and one of my all-time favorites, period. As much as I like Anne of Green Gables, it pales in comparison to The Blue Castle. The story is so much better than the synopsis sounds, but it's hard to say much about the plot without giving away the best of it. This is also the only book Montgomery wrote which is *not* set in Prince Edward Island.
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