The Blue Castle
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The Blue Castle

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  11,600 ratings  ·  1,686 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
Mass Market Paperback, 218 pages
Published March 1st 1989 by Starfire (first published 1926)
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The Blue Castle by L.M. MontgomeryTo Catch a Pirate by Jade ParkerThe Seer and the Sword by Victoria HanleyWildwood Dancing by Juliet MarillierWives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
Best Lesser-Known Books
1st out of 719 books — 1,055 voters
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëPersuasion by Jane AustenTwilight by Stephenie MeyerElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
CLEAN Romance Books
25th out of 1,571 books — 1,474 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
Dec 30, 2012 Crystal rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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.”

 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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Lois Bujold
Jul 23, 2014 Lois Bujold rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
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...more
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...more
Mar 24, 2011 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
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...more
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...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Closer to 3.5 stars.

****I read this book using the 'Project Gutenberg Australia' website that offers free reads of older books. What a wonderful website!****

Valancy Stirling woke up on the morning of her 29th birthday and sadly thought "no man had ever desired her". Up to this point, her life included a waspish controlling mother, the what-is-her-purpose-in-life? Cousin Stickles, an ugly house with ugly rooms and little money. Along with numerous nosey, gossipy, busybody relatives whom all thoug...more
This is a great favorite of mine. Valancy is intriguing and the hero dreamy. The extended family is very, very funny. Best of all, the writing is brimming with Atmosphere that makes you feel like you're in another world.

Must go review The Ladies of Missalonghi, which blatantly stole the plot from this book. I'd heard about the lawsuit and was willing to give the author the benefit of the doubt... until I read it.
Peep (Pop! Pop!)
This was such a sweet, sweet story! If you ever want to know what a classic, clean fall in love story is like, this is the book to read! It reminded me of that old adage: You're got to fight for your right to partY!

The set up for Valancy's adventure awakening was very good. I too found myself bored and wanted to do something fun as well, like I was right there with Valancy. And her family, sheesh! That's all I can say. I think it was nice that they were a family that stuck together but man, cut...more
What a treasure of a little book this is. I've read Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, but never heard of this one. I loved it. Valency a 29 year old "old maid", lives a drab life with her uppity mother, and aunts and uncles. She's a mousy, shy, accommodating girl who does every thing she's told, until one day she gets a diagnosis from her doctor that changes everything.

It's a sweet love story with beautiful written prose and description. I normally am put off by a lot of description, but...more
Wow, I wasn't expecting it but i LOVED it!

When a friend recommended this book to me she explained a little bit of it and i have to say that i was not sure i would like it. but i decided . . L.M.Montgomery . . . it deserves a chance. and i'm glad i gave it one!In completing this book i honestly couldn't put my finger on WHY i loved it so much. I think that Montgomery captures the essence of the desire of everyones soul in Valancy not only perfectly but beautifully. she is not pretty or ever wante...more
This is one of my favourite books in the world. Like much of L.M. Montgomery's fiction, the story is fairly sweet and simple (though with more adult themes than the books considered juvenile fiction), style beautiful and feel-good, but that shouldn't make you think it doesn't have deep and meaningful content. In my opinion it tells more about life and people than several more difficult and ponderous books which try too hard to be impressive and too little to tell a story with fascinating charact...more
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’...more
L. M. Montgomery wrote a lot of better books than her classic Anne of Green Gables. This is my personal favorite - the story of old-maid Valancy (poor girl is only 29, for God's sake) who believes that she has only six months to live and decides to live it the way she wants to. The scene where she suddenly decides to say what she thinks instead of merely thinking it - at a big family dinner! - is one of my favorite scenes (in ANY book) of all time. Also, hero Barney Snaith makes Gilbert Blythe l...more
I did this as a buddy read with the lovely Elevetha, and I enjoyed it so much!

L.M. Montgomery has always been one of my fave authors, and The Blue Castle definitely did not disappoint. Infused with subtle humour, and made up of a crew of colourful characters and a plot that was both entertaining and easy to follow, it is a classic tale that is sure to endear itself to readers across the board :)
Sweet and old-fashioned, yet surprisingly contemporary. It's the story of how the main character, Valancy, develops the gumption to break free of her staid family's obsession with "keeping up appearances". In doing so, she finally learns what living really is and learns to appreciate nature (beautifully described, by the way--I think I need to go outside now), to love and be loved, and even to forgive her mean-spirited family. A pleasure to read!
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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
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.” 165 likes
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