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The Blue Castle (1926)

by L. M. Montgomery

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6381074,644 (4.26)249
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.… (more)
Recently added byMartialia, jbriannejahn, An1ka, DarcyWil, Arena800, private library, kateschmidt, TiptoesRose
  1. 90
    Persuasion by Jane Austen (allisongryski)
    allisongryski: This is by no means an obvious recommendation. However, the quality of writing and something of the heroines' characters is similar. The heroines of these two books are both under-appreciated members of their families, who are thought beyond any chance of marriage. They are both forced by circumstance to find courage that they didn't know they possessed and they are rewarded with eventual happiness.… (more)
  2. 40
    The Young Clementina by D. E. Stevenson (emanate28)
    emanate28: A bit of a fairy tale, it deals with a young woman who is resigned to being alone...but finds her life's not over yet!
  3. 20
    The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough (MDGentleReader)
    MDGentleReader: Until I reread them both, I actually confused these two stories. I think that if you enjoy one, you'll enjoy the other.
  4. 20
    A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer (SockMonkeyGirl)
  5. 10
    Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson (humouress)
    humouress: 'Blue Castle' and 'Journey to the River Sea' have the same sense of wonderment and discovery at exploring the wilderness around the protagonist in the company of someone else who has made an effort to live in harmony with nature.
  6. 21
    The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen (infiniteletters)
  7. 00
    Miss Buncle's Book by D. E. Stevenson (wisemetis)
    wisemetis: Main characters are both overlooked and underappreciated/taken for granted.
  8. 00
    Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (SunnySD)
  9. 00
    Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer (moonsoar)
    moonsoar: Both heroes are charming rakes.

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» See also 249 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as an Early Reviewer a while ago and didn't realize I had forgotten to review it. I couldn't relate well to the romantic Valency although I had a version of a Blue Castle which was much more practical than hers. It was a medical diagnosis that gave her the courage to change from an obedient daughter to a rebel much to the horror of her mother and her staid relations. Her life becomes much more interesting when she gets to know the "outcasts' of her village and horrifies her relatives by moving out. The descriptions of the village and the lake and forest are vivid enough to bring the scene to life. I enjoyed this book more than I expected since I'm not a reader of romances, but this was much more than a romance.

( )
  19anne44 | Sep 26, 2022 |
Orig. published 1926. Montgomery writes beautifully and brings tears of both sorrow and joy on the turning of every page. There are some lovely descriptions of nature in this book, the gentle romance between the heroine and her unconventional husband is charming and her interaction with Abel and his daughter Cissy is heart warming. ( )
  bogopea | Aug 1, 2022 |
I had no idea L.M. Montgomery wrote novels like this. I enjoyed the book very much. It was fun to see Valancy grow from a sad old maid of 29 to a happy, fulfilled young woman. I was glad she found love, but it was pretty clear that she didn't need Barney to be happy (at least until she fell in love with him). ( )
  Pferdina | May 15, 2022 |
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde

That is one of my favorite quotes and it explains this story perfectly. Valancy Jane Stirling is only 29, but she’s been relegated to the role of old spinster in her family. She has, as Wilde said, been existing, but not living. It’s not until she receives some startling news that she decides to change her lot in life.

It’s so satisfying when she finally starts standing up for herself, but it’s so sad that it takes such a dramatic twist to get her to break out of her shell. The book is really about having the courage to live the life you want. Valancy and Barney Snaith are both good characters. They both have to learn to trust someone else with their happiness, a difficult thing for anyone to do.

This is the first Montgomery book I’ve read outside of the Anne of Green Gables series. While I will say I love those books more, I still loved her writing style in this one. I had longer to get attached to the characters on Prince Edward Island than I did to those in this book.

BOTTOM LINE: The story is predictable but sweet. It’s the equivalent of a really good romantic comedy movie. So save it for when you’re in the mood for a charming tale.

"You made me believe again in the reality of friendship and love."

"Fear is the original sin. Almost all the evil in the world has its origin in the fact that some one is afraid of something."

“She, who had been afraid of almost everything in life, was not afraid of death.”

“People who don’t like cats always seem to think that there is some peculiar virtue in not liking them.” ( )
  bookworm12 | Feb 8, 2022 |
I can't believe that I never read this book before. It was such a beautiful, sweet and fun read. ( )
  ChelseaVK | Dec 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. M. Montgomeryprimary authorall editionscalculated
Salonen, A. J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stahl, Ben F.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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If it had not rained on a certain May morning Valancy Stirling's whole life would have been entirely different. She would have gone with the rest of her clan to Aunt wellington'd engagement picnic and Dr. Trent would have gone to Montreal. But it did rain and you shall hear what happened to her because of it.
...fringed by aspens that were always quivering with some supernal joy.
Love! What a searing, torturing, intolerably sweet thing it was - the possession of body, soul and mind! With something at its core as fine and remote and purely spiritual as the tiny blue spark in the heart of an unbreakable diamond.
The new moons always looked down through it (the oriel window), the lower pine boughs swayed about the top of it, and all through the nights the soft, dim silver of the lake dreamed through it.
In a corner a nice, tall, lazy old clock ticked - the right kind of a clock. One that did not hurry the hours awaybut ticked them off deliberately. It was the jolliest looking old clock. A fat, corpulent clock with a great, round man's face painted on it, the hands stretching out of its nose and the hours encircling it like a halo.
...they ate out on the verandah that almost overhung the lake... Supper was the meal that Valency loved best. The faint laughter of winds was always about them and the colours of Mistawis, imperial and spiritual, under the changing clouds, were something that cannot be expressed in mere words. Shadows, too. Clustering in the pines until a wind shook them out and pursued them over Mistawis. They lay all day along the shores, threaded by ferns and wild blossoms. they stole around the headlands in the glow of the sunset, until twilight wove them all into one great web of dusk.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

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Book description
From the back cover: 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.

Available online at Project Gutenberg Australia:
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Average: (4.26)
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An edition of this book was published by Dundurn.

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