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The Blue Castle

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  13,224 ratings  ·  1,824 reviews
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 inte ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Dundurn Group (first published 1926)
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I arrived late to the L.M. Montgomery party, not having grown up with her stories as a young girl, but rather read them for the first time in my late 20's. Knowing what I know now about the beauty and magic of her books, I realize I missed out of some major reading adventures with Anne, Emily, Pat and gang, and will consequently never be able to wax nostalgic about how those books effected my life (which is probably for the best, as I tend to go into sappy, melodramatic overdrive when I really l ...more
An independent story from the author of Anne of Green Gables, written for an older audience. An important and underrated part of the Montgomery collection -- in this story, a young woman (young by our standards, an old maid in her time) rebels against her oppressive family and a conservative society to achieve a few basic but essential moments of happiness. On the surface this may look like flowers and fluff but, for the time, this was a subversively pre-feminist novel. Valancy becomes psycholog ...more
Sometimes I read a book, friends, and I spend the entire time going, “This book! THIS BOOK!” and I mark so many pages that the spine begins to bow outwards in desperation, and I want to recommend it to everyone I know, and then I sit down to write the review and my brain says:

“Um. Oh. Er. Hello? This book. It was a book. I like it. Yes.”


“Ah. Well. It was a book. A good book. Yes.”

If you think your relatives argue too much over the Thanksgiving meal or are impossible to live with
try Valancy Stirling's family.

Written in 1926, this is the story of Valancy, a 29 year old timid mouse of a person, considered an old maid by her family and the town generally. She does what everyone asks even when she hates it, quails before her insolent relatives, never talks back (except in her mind), cries herself to sleep on a regular basis, and overall lives a thoroughly miserable life. Her
Dec 30, 2012 Crystal rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of romance, hope, and/or LM Montgomery
This is my favorite novel by LM Montgomery, even though it's not necessarily typical of her books. It is the sweetest romance I have ever read, full of laugh out loud moments and obnoxious "villains". In fact, this book's annoying characters are on a par with Jane Austen's best. it's a great story of learning to be free of society's bonds and expectations, of finding love when and where least expected, and of the joys that come when you open your heart to them. I completely recommend this book. ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
What a delightful book! Who could not love this story about a woman who gains the courage to break free from the smothering yoke of her family and to make the most of the life she has left?

This book was hilariously funny in some parts, always inspirational, and sometimes pretty sad. It was intensely readable, and I loved Valancy and Barney. I could empathize very deeply with Valancy's situation, and I cheered her on when she stopped being afraid, and decided to be true to herself. Life is too sh
In an era where authors are trying to outdo one another by coming up with the most ingeniously twisted story that one could not possibly imagine the magic of a simple old fashioned classic story goes a long way in entertaining you. With its uncomplicated plot, laugh out loud moments and familiar characters these books has the uncanny ability to reach out and bring to surface "that old feeling" which reminds you why you started reading in the first place.

Without much ado this book is based on a
This just became one of my all-time favorites! In fact, this may be my favorite L.M. Montgomery book, and I'm a huge "Anne" fan! I loved Valancy saying exactly what she thought to her stuffy family. I loved the drama and the romance, and the beautiful descriptions of the Canadian wilds. What a great book! It's a treat to read, just a joy with every page!
This is a sweet story about a spinstery spinster who conversely is given a new lease on life when her doctor pronounces a death sentence on her. "If I have only one year to live", she reasons, "I had better start living"!

The first thing Valency does while squeezing out of society's cage is to see things (and people) as they truly are and speak the truth, niceties and platitudes be hanged!

I have to say that if I wasn't pressured by my daugher to keep reading this, I would have given it up around
Valancy Stirling has committed the unpardonable sin of being 29 and unmarried. (Aw, crap! I was once guilty of THAT myself!) In her small, gossipy community, she has "failed to get a man," and is now a "hopeless old maid."

Valancy herself has not yet given up hope that Romance (Yes- capital R!) will come her way. And if all else fails, she has a rich fantasy life. Though her body may be stuck in an ugly brick box of a home, spiritually, Valancy lives in the Blue Castle in Spain, where everything
Once upon a time...

there lived a beautiful young woman named Valancy Stirling. She was tall, with black raven hair, large brown slanted eyes, and pale, white skin that gleamed in the moonlight and gave her an ethereal, dreamlike appearance.

Valancy was the mistress of the Blue Castle in Spain; a big, imposing, majestic structure of elegance and grandness, resplendent in blue. "Everything wonderful and beautiful was in that castle."

She had everything she wanted, from glamorous jewels to gorgeou
Lois Bujold
Jul 23, 2014 Lois Bujold rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of sweet romances or interested in turn-of-the-20th-C. times
Recommended to Lois by: Goodreads discussion of another book

(I read this as a library e-book.)

Having just polished off a couple of modern Regencies with the Dying Hero trope, I had asked if anyone had encountered one with a dying heroine, because I was curious how they would compare. The differences in time, place, and style of the writing from this century-old book overwhelmed the comparison, alas for science, but it was a very enjoyable read nonetheless. It's been said that the two Ur-models for romances are Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella; this to
This is without question my favorite L.M. Montgomery! Even more so than Jane of Lantern Hill. More Heartwrenching and beautiful then any of her others. It will take me some time to sort my thoughts out on this one.

Valancy has had about enough of her family's nit-picking, if they remind her one more time about her being an unwanted old maid, she feels that she will burst. Then Valancy finds that her heart is not only having strange jumpy spells, but is leaving her crippled with pain at times. So
4 stars and 5 moonbeams for The Blue Castle, a romance set in Canada, written in ~1926 by the author of Anne of Green Gables. It is supposedly Montgomery's only romance written for adults.

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Basic plot: This is a coming-of-age-at-last story. On her 29th bday, Valancy learns that she is dying. This realization suddenly frees her from a lifetime of fearful subservience. She says and does exactly what she wants (haha!), and
Mar 24, 2011 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: seasick, yet still docked
Recommended to Mariel by: peach, plum, pear
This is a lovely book, sweet with sentiment without being sentimental.
I'm a depressive sad sack, however, so my review isn't going to be the pleasant and lovely review that anyone will want to read, I'm afraid.

So I'm feeling depressed and looking over and back again (similar to Bilbo's journey but not exactly. No 'shrooms) my bookshelves for something to stimulate the low mood a bit. I consider a favorite, but I'm afraid that this bad mood will ruin it for me. Sad, isn't it. (Favorites are suppo
Well, this was a rather dark comedy! Because it's Montgomery, you almost don't notice how dark it is. There's depression, alcoholism, terminal illness...

Her protagonist Valancy begins the story as a mousy spinster and then makes a pendulum swing to full on Joan Crawford. (She literally chops up a rose bush!) She rebels against her prim and proper family, recklessly and indiscriminately. I preferred the sweet, shy Valancy but I understand that this is a wish-fulfillment narrative. And I appreciat
What is it about LM Montgomery that makes you want to take the next plane to Prince Edward Island? I finished reading The Blue Castle with the same engrossed delight I had in meeting Anne Shirley years ago.

Valancy Stirling is plain, shy, bossed around by everyone and compared constantly (negatively) to her wonderful cousin Olive- the big-chested blond who gets all the rich men. (lol- some things in society never change). And horror of all horrors- she's 29 and STILL SINGLE! The Stirlings are as
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I hate to comment on covers (I do it anyways of course) but the paperback I read has a painful cover to look at. Does the story no justice. The story of course was marvelous.
It is remarkable that this book perfectly follows so many long-established Hollywood romantic comedy conventions, and yet it avoids cliché, surprising and delighting the reader despite its tired plot.

The Blue Castle is built on several overused tropes. Valancy, the homely protagonist who has been living as an old maid since girlhood, discovers that she will die within a year. And so the book begins with one of those well-known carpe diem sequences where a dying character gives her finger to the
My rating: 4.5/5

Best remembered for her well-loved red-headed heroine, Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery's understated more 'grown up' novel, The Blue Castle, deserves equal, if not a higher echelon of praise. An invigorating exercise in general satire, The Blue Castle's characterization borders on Dickens-like caricature as Montgomery introduces an array of amusing, egotistical and decidedly silly relatives of the heroine, Valancy Stirling.

Social and familial pressures have combined t
Jane Stewart
4 ½ stars. Unique characters that you want to watch. It’s different. It feels good.

Montgomery is famous for her Anne of Green Gables series published 1908 to 1921. The Blue Castle was published in 1926. I believe this is her only romance book. It is appropriate for young adult.

I enjoyed it all the way through. I loved the variety of characters. I feel like I’ve known parts of people who were like Valancy’s horrible relatives. Another reviewer “A Customer” described it well. “Valancy, a 29 year o

"Love! What a searing, torturing, intolerably sweet thing it was - this 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 the unbreakable diamond. No dream had ever been like this. She was no longer solitary. She was one of a vast sisterhood - all the women who had ever loved in the world."

I can't add much to all the wonderful reviews except to add the quote above which for some reason was not included in
Valancy Stirling is miserably reconciled to a long life as the poor spinster in a big conservative family obsessed with appearances. Then she finds out that she has a heart condition that leaves her less than a year to live, and she decides to cast caution to the winds. She stops laughing at her relatives' boring jokes, nurses a disgraced old schoolfriend, and eventually, falls in love.

I really like Valancy. And as could be expected from Montgomery, the descriptions of a Canadian forest are bea
I connected so much with this heroine. I've known a number of people who were just as stiff and narrow as Valancy's relatives, and have watched people near them struggling with similar self-doubt or compulsive submissiveness. I loved how the good doctor's mistake catapulted her into growing a backbone for once and going out to live for a little while.

Barney was delightful! I guessed what his Bluebeard chamber was about five chapters before Valancy found out...somehow the Allan Tierney visit tip
Dec 12, 2014 Maria rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maria by: Anne, Tweety, Ceri
Shelves: classics
Can a terrible news change your life forever? Yes. Definitely. That is exactly what happens to Valancy Stirling. Her dull existence suddenly changes when her doctor tells her she has a serious heart issue. Instead of accepting her fate, Valancy decides to open her wings and fly... towards her happiness!

This is a life-changing book. Really. You can feel it while reading this beautiful story. Valancy Stirling is a wonderful heroine, and she has become my favourite heroine now. OK, she only starts
Great book. I knew nothing of the story when I started reading. The first 50 or so pages were a struggle. At first, I didn't love Valancy. She seemed too weak, too respressed, too sick and too miserable. No wonder she never got to keep her own pile of dust.

However, all this was a careful set up for a huge change of character. Upon learning of her impending death, Valancy becomes brave, opinionated, whitty, caring and often extremely funny. With her new freedom she lives the kind of life she had
I didn’t mean to reread The Blue Castle again, but then I never do plan it; I just seem to tumble into it on a regular basis. Somehow it gets better, richer, every time. I feel like I could walk out my back door and be in Muskoka, watching the moon over the lake. You wouldn’t think it possible Montgomery could make any place sound as lovely as Prince Edward Island, but oh, those woods, those views.

I love LMM’s character transformations, and Valancy’s arc is one of her best—as satisfying as Jane’
I've read a lot of Lucy M. Montgomery books, this is my 18th, so I know what to expect. Some people will say they are predictable, dated, simplistic, and maybe they are, but that's who she is, and that's part of what makes her stories so enjoyable. In that place and at that time, it's easy to imagine these characters and these stories as real, at least I would like to think that possible.

The Blue Castle is considered an adult novel, one of the very few that she wrote, but I found it similar to m
I really enjoyed this book, although I wasn't so sure about it in the beginning. When the beginning started with Valancy bemoaning her situation I was wondering if it was going to a 'pity her' kind of story. However, Montgomery made the change occur quickly in the story which I definitely appreciated. Her family was so ridiculous that I couldn't help laughing. Cissy was sweet, and I loved her although she had a small part in the story. Roaring Abel was... well... I liked him (especially when h ...more
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Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author, best known for a series of novels beginning with Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908.

The author of the famous Canadian novel Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery, was born at Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Nov. 30, 1874. She came to live at Leaskdale, north of Uxbridge Ontario, in 1911 after her wedding with Rev. Ewen Macdonald on July 11, 1911
More about L.M. Montgomery...
Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1) The Complete Anne of Green Gables Boxed Set (Anne of Green Gables, #1-8) Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables, #3) Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2) Anne's House of Dreams (Anne of Green Gables, #5)

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“If you can sit in silence with a person for half an hour and yet be entirely comfortable, you and that person can be friends. If you cannot, friends you'll never be and you need not waste time in trying.” 191 likes
“Fear is the original sin. Almost all of the evil in the world has its origin in the fact that some one is afraid of something.It is a cold slimy serpent coiling about you. It is horrible to live with fear; and it is of all things degrading.” 121 likes
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