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The Blue Castle

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  20,582 Ratings  ·  2,643 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 April 1st 1989 by Bantam Books (first published 1926)
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T. Finley I think the problem is that The Blue Castle isn't as well known as some of the author's other work. I'd never even heard of it until I stumbled across…moreI think the problem is that The Blue Castle isn't as well known as some of the author's other work. I'd never even heard of it until I stumbled across a copy on the sale rack at the local public library.(less)
Dianna I am the most conservative reader I know as far as content goes—but even I would recommend this for teens. There is a story of a girl who became…moreI am the most conservative reader I know as far as content goes—but even I would recommend this for teens. There is a story of a girl who became pregnant outside of marriage, but there is absolutely nothing graphic or even suggestive about this book. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
If you think your relatives argue too much over Sunday dinner or are just impossible to live with
try Valancy Stirling's family.

Written in 1926 by the author of the beloved Anne of Green Gables series, 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 own mind), cries herself to sleep on a regular
May 23, 2007 Kate rated it really liked it
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
Sep 07, 2016 Rowena rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-lit
"Valancy had lived spiritually in the Blue Castle ever since she could remember. She had been a very tiny child when she found herself possessed of it. Always, when she shut her eyes, she could see it plainly, with its turrets and banners on the pine-clad mountain height, wrapped in its faint, blue loveliness, against the sunset skies of a fair and unknown land. Everything wonderful and beautiful was in that castle. Jewels that queens might have worn; robes of moonlight and fire; couches of rose ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
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
Jul 10, 2007 Crystal rated it it was amazing
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
Naomi Sarah

This is one of my favourite books EVER. I've read it SO many times I can read it with my eyes closed, memorise entire lines and paragraphs. On the top-ten list, and all that, which is a list very selective indeed. So HOW DO I REVIEW THIS GEM OF A BOOK.

I'll try to compose myself. BUT IT'S HARD BECAUSE BARNEY. I LOVE BARNEY.

2. Firstly, Valancy. Not only has she the cutest, beautifullest name EVER (don't care what you say, I love it to bits) but her story is the BEST.
Apr 23, 2013 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone in need of a fairytale :)
Recommended to Anne by: Tweety, Ceri, Beverly, Sukanya, Kathryn & a score of others!
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 gorgeo
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
Definitely, DEFINITELY a new favorite! Charming, witty, beautiful, delightful. Full of whimsy and heart and as is true of all Montgomery's books, stunning nature writing. And the sweetest romance there ever was (and a leading man with a most unfortunate name...). I laughed and cried - sometimes in the same chapter! This book rivals Anne for me,and that is something! Anne will always hold the top spot in my heart, but if not for nostalgia's sake, this one would sit right next to it.
Dec 26, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
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!
Apr 21, 2013 Melki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous-fiction
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
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
Jun 23, 2014 Dorcas rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, cozy
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
It was quite nice to be back into the lovely and whimsical storytelling of Lucy Maud Montgomery. After reading most of her Anne of Green Gables series, and enjoying them, I was excited to read something new by her! :-)

The Blue Castle told the intriguing tale of a twenty-nine year old woman living with her strict, bleak, colorless mother and cousin. She has no marriage prospects. Her family disdains her. She’s dying. And yet she’s never even really lived. What will it take for Valancy to go from
Tiffany Reisz
Jan 18, 2016 Tiffany Reisz rated it it was amazing
Pretty sure this is the best romance novel I've ever read. Pretty sure. I wouldn't bet my life on it but I'd put it in the top five.
Jun 22, 2013 Tweety rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every living person
Recommended to Tweety by: Michaela
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. S
Jan 08, 2017 Georgie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Georgie by: J. Boo
Such a delightful start to 2017 reading.

Valancy has become a nonentity within her own family, alternately bullied and overlooked. Until, that is, she learns she has only a short time to live. At which point, hidden Valancy emerges, much to the discomfiture of her mother.
By this time they had reached Maple Avenue and Uncle Herbert's house, a large, pretentious structure peppered with meaningless bay windows and excrescent porches. A house that always looked like a stupid, prosperous, self-satisf
Lois Bujold
Jul 23, 2014 Lois Bujold rated it really liked it
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
Oct 18, 2014 Kara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Several blogging friends have been telling me for years that I really needed to read this one, they were so right! I had determined that 2016 was the year it would happen, so yay for sticking to my resolution. Because Valancy's story is SO wonderful! :)

The biggest reason I loved this book was Valancy herself. She starts out completely stifled and lost. Her sense of self is pretty much nonexistent, and while she's somewhat self-aware of this fact, she also doesn't know how to change it. Until som
Sep 23, 2016 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of book I remember reading as a child, the kind of book that made me love reading, and instilled a life long love of great stories, the sort of book that I just just couldn't put down, and that made me sad, mad and eventually made me cry.
It's certainly old fashioned, but it's brilliant.

It's spinster heroine suddenly decides she's had enough of her controlling family, and wants to experience life before it's too late, and so discovers a whole new world, full of all the things she
Pamela Geroni
Jul 01, 2017 Pamela Geroni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Se non avevate mai sentito parlare di questo romanzo è perché, sebbene sia del 1926, è appena stato pubblicato per la prima volta in Italia grazie alla Jo March, casa editrice che non smette di regalarci gioie, riportando alla luce tesori nascosti altrimenti destinati a rimanere nell’oblio (almeno nel panorama editoriale italiano, dove invece, chissà come mai, i fenomeni editoriali più beceri proliferano come l’amanita muscaria). L’emozione con cui mi sono immersa nella lettura è anche legata al ...more
Jun 13, 2016 Hannah rated it liked it
3 Stars - Good book

Two words to describe this book: sweet and funny.

L.M. Montgomery sure knew how to write books that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I grew up, as many others have, loving Anne and the stories created around her life. This is my first non-Anne book and I really enjoyed it. I actually surprised myself as I was reading because I wasn't comparing this book to any in the Anne series, some comparisons re characters happened but I didn't do it as much as I thought I would. T
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.
Jul 18, 2016 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2017 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just delightful. Love Valancy's spirit and the way the story unfolds with all the different twists and turns along the way.
Mar 11, 2015 Amber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooksiown
Valancy is considered by her entire family and the town of Deerwood as an old maid. At age 29, her family picks on her daily as she is not married. Not wanting to offend her family, she endures it. Her life changes when she goes to see a doctor who tells her that she has a severe heart condition and only has a year to live. Can Valancy go live the life she has not lived yet and find her real Blue castle and the love she has not found yet even though to do so would bring offense and dishonor to h ...more
Mar 24, 2011 Mariel rated it really liked it
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
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
Jan 10, 2015 MomToKippy rated it really liked it

"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
Mar 04, 2017 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Predictable, and with all the tropes Montgomery loves to use, but still completely and utterly charming. I was in the mood for happy fluff, and this was perfect.
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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
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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.” 294 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.” 174 likes
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