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The Blue Castle

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  35,719 ratings  ·  5,159 reviews
An unforgettable story of courage and romance. Will Valancy Stirling ever escape her strict family and find true love?

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
Mass Market Paperback, 218 pages
Published March 1st 1989 by Bantam Books (first published 1926)
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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 pregn…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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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 regula
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
May 23, 2007 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
Nov 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I came across The Blue Castle a few years ago, I thought it was merely a young adult romance. I don't read romance novels now. I've read them enough for a lifetime when I was a young adult myself. :) But recently when it came to my notice again, I thought I'll give it a try. I told myself that I would endure it because it was a work of L.M. Montgomery and because my bookshelf is in want of Canadian literature. The first few chapters, however, were enough to set me straight. This wasn't a ...more
Escapism at its best. This was my very first book by L.M. Montgomery and I loved it!

I guess there's hardly anyone who doesn't entertain a wishful thinking of "Just-Getting-Away-From-It-All" time and again especially during this time of crisis and quarantine!
Woods, water, pure air, a lovely cabin, no demands from society or from tiresome family members., experiencing the change of seasons on your doorstep, BLISS, right?


And 29-year-old Valancy Stirling, the long-suffering grey-mouse and overlooke
Em Lost In Books
There's reason some books are called "Classics", and this one has everything to make it one of those.

Highly recommended.
Alexis Hall
Hello one of my favourite books of all time, recently re-read to get me through what was a fairly stressful week, even for someone an ocean-away from the stress epicentre.

The Blue Castle just a goddamn fucking balm. Always.

The heroine, Valancy Stirling (my stars, what a name), is unmarried and twenty-something at a time when being unmarried twenty-something means your life is a total waste. Her family are repressive and awful beyond belief. Then she receives the news that she has a fatal heart
Sep 07, 2016 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
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of old maid/spinster romance and historical fiction
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
Apr 23, 2013 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 gorg
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me cry. And it is very rare when a story makes me cry.

This is one of Montgomery’s lesser know stories in The States. It got a reprint Stateside during the “Anne Mania” after PBS broadcasted the Canadian mini series.

And the premis of the story goes like this, Possible Spoilers.......

If you were told you only had a year to live, what would you do? And the main character crams in many things during that year. Which makes this book a fabulous adventure.

Even though it has its sad parts
I really wasn’t expecting much from this author since I’m probably one of the few people on the face of the planet who really didn’t enjoy Anne of Green Gables. Color me very much surprised!

What an incredibly delightful book! I never wanted it to end! A must read for all! Five gigantic ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️‘s!
Jul 10, 2007 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
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, classics
This book is simply delightful. If all you know of L. M. Montgomery is her Anne of Green Gables series, then I highly suggest picking up a copy of this lesser known classic.

Valancy Stirling is 29 and can't forget for a moment that she's unmarried and undesired. If her inadequacies did slip her mind, her "loving" family would be quick to remind her. Her whole life, she's lived under the thumb of the Stirling clan, bound to their ideals of how she should think, act, and feel. She's smothered, but
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ by: Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

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🌟 I read this for the Yule Bingo Challenge, for the category of Malfoy: Character you love to hate. For more info on this challenge, click here. 🌟

Oh man, this was just the palate cleanser I needed after all those crazy bodice ripper romances. L.M. Montgomery, author of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES fame, brings to the table something wickedly funny and wholesomely real with THE BLUE CASTLE: a story of a bitterly unhappy girl who learns to discove
Sherwood Smith
Warning: spoilery talk ahead for this book that is nearly a century old.

I've heard this book disparaged as second-rate Montgomery, even as outright trash. And I can see the problematical aspects--the "bucket list" plot was already pretty worn out by the time LMM hung this story on it (protag is told they have only X time to live, which turns out to be a mistake, of course), and I could definitely do without the thread of the hapless young woman who has to die of Didn't Remain A Virgin Until Marr
2022 Review

I love the pacing of this book. For being so short, every scene gets due weight.

2020 Review

I adore this book for a thousand reasons but I do have to say, Chapter 1 brings it with the sting of truth:

"But Valancy herself had never quite relinquished a certain pitiful, shamed, little hope that Romance would come her way yet--never, until this wet, horrible morning, when she wakened to the fact that she was twenty-nine and unsought by any man.

Ay, there lay the sting. Valancy did not mind
I had no idea this book would be so charming. It reminds me of The Ladies of Missalonghi by Colleen McCullough. I wonder if McCullough meant her book as a sort of tribute to Montgomery?

There's a quite a bit in The Blue Castle that is early feminism. A young woman under constant criticism for not getting a husband and shackled to a narrow existence at home by family disapproval of female independence, breaks free of convention in the pursuit of happiness. I remember my grandmother telling me that
"Fear is the original sin," wrote John Foster. "Almost all 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."

Valancy recently turned 29, and her life is a disappointment. Nothing ever happens to her, she is disrespected, unnoticed by her judgmental family except for the times they make fun of her spinsterhood.

"Valancy got up, though she hated g
Helene Jeppesen
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars.
This was a lovely, cozy read that I started on a snowy day and finished the day after. Valancy is our main character; a 29-year-old spinster who’s not at all satisfied with her life. Right from the beginning she moans about everything from her room to her family and her poor status as a single woman.
However, we meet Valancy on a fateful day that comes with a dramatic twist, and everything quickly sets off and goes in a delightful direction that I immensely enjoyed reading about. So
Elizabeth (Plant Based Bride)
What a magical, lovely, emotional, and heartwarming book! I feel my heart has grown three sizes upon finishing it. Glorious descriptions of the magnificence and fleeting essence of the natural world, vivid characterization, and a protagonist to fall in love with and root for with abandon.

The Blue Castle will undoubtedly become a new comfort read that I will keep with me always!

Trigger/Content Warnings: fatphobia, racism, use of “queer” to mean strange or odd, terminal illness, death, death of a
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-2019
Such a joyous read for the first book of the year. No wonder it's a classic. I loved every page of it. Valency was a character I cared for a lot. I loved the writing. I loved everything about this book.
It warmed my heart a lot. I long for this type of books that are about love, innocence, care more than ever as recently every second book has some sort of violence, abuse, or grief in it.
We need more Blue Castles to read.
Chavelli Sulikowska
A quaint and quick read by the author better known for the beloved children’s classic, Anne of Green Gables. Blue Castle, however, is very much a grown up novel, and upon finishing it, I am inclined to think that Montgomery was better suited to children’s literature. While it has serious undertones – particularly about self belief and self worth, resilience and the determination to follow your dreams, the story telling in itself is unfortunately too simplistic. This triteness fails to render the ...more
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. ...more
Dec 26, 2008 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! ...more
April (Aprilius Maximus)
awwwww i'm so bummed. I thought the mc had anxiety so i was soooo excited, but turns out she didn't :( ...more
Apr 21, 2013 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
Cindy Rollins
Mar 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I have to admit that the first half of this book left me wondering why all my friends loved it. Poor Valancy was not really even a sympathetic character only pathetic. Then her bitterness was so profound I found it disturbing and even sadder. The second half of the book is the reason it is so well-loved.
Quite a diversion and quite fun, although I still think her family was a little overdrawn.
Valancy gets her sabbath rest in a cabin in the woods. Let us all embrace our sabbaths with such joy.
Jun 23, 2014 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
Although L.M. Montgomery's 1926 The Blue Castle is considered by many if not even most to be first and foremost a romance (and thus certainly not really my favourite type of reading genre), I have indeed and for the most part very much enjoyed reading about Valancy Stirling and Barney Snaith and indeed mostly because fortunately The Blue Castle is in my opinion not simply a romance and that well, from where I stand, the romance between Valancy and Barney (although it is of course sweet and delig ...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.

Montgomery was born at Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Nov. 30, 1874. She came to live at Leaskdale, north of Uxbridge Ontario, after her wedding with Rev. Ewen Macdonald on July 11, 1911. She had three children and wrote close to a dozen books while she was living in

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