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The Blue Castle Paperback – March 4, 2014
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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 intended for an adult audience, The Blue Castle is filled with humour and romance.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Of course it was much harder for a woman to do that in the 1920s than it is today. All the more reason to love and admire this heroine, Valancy Stirling, 29-year-old unmarried woman living at home, dominated, controlled and belittled by her mother and all the rest of the Stirling relatives.
Valancy has chest pains and goes, in secret, to the doctor to find out what's wrong. She is informed that she is dying, with perhaps only a year or two to live, and that's when Valancy decides that she needs to *live* what's left of her life, since she hadn't really lived or had any control over her first 29 years. Without telling her family of the doctor's diagnosis, Valancy surprises them all by speaking her mind instead of suppressing her thoughts and even leaving home to be housekeeper to the town handyman, who also happens to be the town drunk, and caregiver to his dying young adult daughter.
That's how she meets Barney Snaith, town recluse, who lives on his very own island outside of town, drives around in his old car nicknamed Lady Jane Grey, and is friend to the alcoholic handyman and his ill daughter. Imagine the horror Valancy's straitlaced family is feeling. Valancy is living with an alcoholic and is becoming friends with a recluse who the town believes is a criminal hiding out from the law.
The story may be a bit predictable, but it's sweet, humorous and touching at times. I loved watching Valancy come into her own and finally find a real Blue Castle outside her imagination.
Valancy is turning 29. All of her life Valancy has been sort of an afterthought to her family. Nobody pays her any attention. Her features are unremarkable. Her personality stifled. Valancy is an old maid and her family lets her know it every chance they get.
When Valancy receives some upsetting news she decides that she is tired of living in fear. This is when Valancy really comes to life! Valancy's family does not know what to make of her when Valancy starts speaking her mind, doing things she never would have done before, and no longer being the wallflower her family expects her to be.
Valancy further scandalizes her family by becoming involved with the local bad boy Barney Snaith. Valancy has never believed the rumors that fly about Barney so has no problem being seen around town with him.
Having made up in dreams all of her life her Blue Castle, Valancy is finally living a life of freedom and building her own Blue Castle that is made of more than just dreams.
I thought The Blue Castle was a beautiful story! I loved reading about Valancy shedding her fears, rebelling against family prejudices and finally becoming the person she truly was meant to be. I am ashamed to say that this is the first L.M. Montgomery book that I have read other than the Anne of Green Gables series. I should have known that the author that could write the Anne books could also write other stories that were just as meaningful and enjoyable to read. If you haven't ventured beyond Anne, then I suggest starting with The Blue Castle. A sweet story that is sure to cause the reader to want to shed a few fears of their own!
This book was so good. It's the second adult novel that I've read by L.M. Montgomery and I have to admit I enjoyed it more than A Tangled Web. The characters all seem so real and one can't help but become absorbed in the book. Thank you, Amber, for suggesting it! :-)
Valacny is a wonderful protagonist. In the beginning she's so pitiful and miserable and you just feel so sorry for her, but as the book moves along, Valancy learns to stick up for herself and really becomes her own person. I have to admit I wasn't so sure about Barney Snaith in the beginning, but he turned out to be perfect for Valancy. I won't give away any spoilers, but I will say the ending of this book totally surprised me; I did not see it coming (and I was surprised in a good way!).
All in all, The Blue Castle is a lovely read that I would recommend to all fans of historical romance.