Happy September everyone! I can’t quite get my head around the fact that summer is practically over and school is looming closely on the horizon. Crazy! But I’ve had a delightfully full week – what with working at the nursery, having multitudes of friends round, and creating various apple-y creations from the seemingly never-ending supply of apples from my Grandparent’s tree. In short, it’s been lovely!
One thing that made this past week even more delightful was the fact that I had the joy of re-reading an absolute darling of a book – The Blue Castle, by L. M. Montgomery. Oh. My. Days. This book is incredible!!! In fact it’s probably one of my favouritest books ever. Which is quite an accomplishment, considering the amount of books I ingest on a yearly basis. 😀 And because I love this book so much, today I’ve decided to share with you all four reasons why I think that you should go and read (or reread!) this gem! So let’s get on with the book review!
*Note: I written any spoilers in white, to protect the innocence of those of my readers who have not yet read this book. To see them, just highlight the paragraph that the blank bit is in, and you’ll magically be able to see every spoiler! 😀
Synopsis: Valancy Stirling is 29, unmarried, and has never been in love. Living with her overbearing mother and meddlesome aunt, she finds her only consolation in the “forbidden” books of John Foster and her daydreams of the Blue Castle–a place where all her dreams come true and she can be who she truly wants to be. After getting shocking news from the doctor, she rebels against her family and discovers a surprising new world, full of love and adventures far beyond her most secret dreams.
First Published: 1926
Number of Pages: 248
My Rating: Five stars!!
And now, may I present to you four reasons why I think you should read The Blue Castle!
Reason Number One: The characters are just plain wonderful. – Gahhh I love them!! Valency is a dear bean and I want to hug her for being so innocent and brave and beautiful and spirited. Barney just a duck – a gentleman with a sense of humor and an air of mystery and a heart that is plain wonderful. Valency’s family is just the perfect mixture of stuffy quirkiness and horrible pretentiousness and hilariousness mixed together. I hate them and I love them for it. Roaring Abel was hilarious and I loved his drunken moods (even though I fundamentally disagree with being drunk) and Cissy was such a sweetly pathetic darling. Each and every character in this book has such a rounded and unique and ‘perfect for them’ personality, and oh how I envy LMM for her ability to come up with such memorable and hilarious and darling characters!!
Reason Number Two: The plot is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. – It starts in such dreary, dull, dreadfully dank despair, and rises to such colourful and beautiful and darling happiness. I love the way Valency changes over the course of the book. I love the way she finally decides to live instead of just existing. I love her love for Mistawis and her little house of her own and John Foster’s books. I love her tending to Cissy and her hair cut and her announcement of marriage to her family. I love her father-in-law for being so horribly pobby and dear and I love Cousin Georgianna for giving Valency that rosebush and for being such a little spidery thing with a dim light of love and niceness in her wrinkled heart. I hate Valency’s mother for never changing ever and for eating porridge every day and knitting interminably. I hate Cousin Stickles for having such a name as Cousin Stickles and for whining and having a bad back. (And yes, I know it’s wrong to hate but oh this book makes you hate characters in such delightful ways!!). I love Barney for many myriads of reasons, some of them being: him kissing Valency and marrying her in the first place and falling in love with her and saving her from dying and then coming to rescue her from her awful family for the second time. Oh the story just does things to your heart! And I love it for that.
Reason Number Three: Oh the humor! – It warms my heart to the core. It’s just such a hilarious book! Here’s a sampling….
– “The greatest happiness,” said Valency suddenly and distinctly, “is to sneeze when you want to.”
– “She’s gone dippy in my opinon,” growled Uncle Benjamin. “If not, she ought to be spanked. Yes, spanked.” “You can’t spank her.” Cousin Stickles was much agitated. “She’s twenty-nine years old.”
Her entire family is hilarious and her interactions with them are just priceless. Reading this book made me smile and laugh and snort and chuckle and make all manner of faces. You just can’t help it when faced with such a crew of characters as found in this book!
Reason Number Four: The descriptions are just… wow. – I don’t know how LMM does this, but she somehow contrives to paint a picture of the most vivid intensity in just a few sentences. Whether she’s describing a dire family conclave or the seasons changing on Lake Mistawis, the words she puts together become the most wonderful descriptions. Oh to be able to write like her! Seriously, my heart and soul were nourished by her myriad descriptions of nature, and my fancy was tickled by her descriptions of people and events.
So there you have it – four reasons why you should read The Blue Castle! I basically love everything about this book. 😀 It’s probably the 4th or so time I’ve read it, but yet it never gets old! I’m still just as amused and warmed by the story than I was the first time I read it. This time round I read it in less than 24 hours, and it made me stay up until the wee sma’s enthralled by Valency’s story. And once I’d finished I wanted to start all over and read it again because oh it just is so funny and dear and sweet!
Ohhhh it’s good…. I love all of LMM’s books with a passion, but I think that this is my favourite book by her that is not in the ‘AoGG’ series. I promise if you read this you will laugh and be delighted and heart-warmed. So what are you waiting for? Go snag a copy at the library or on kindle or even better invest in a paper copy of your own. You will not be disappointed!!!