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Read Alongs > April 2019 Read-Along: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda D. (tinyminx) | 207 comments Mod
Our April Read-Along pick is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montogmery!

For many, this book is a favorite and I'm very curious if it holds up.

message 2: by Shawna (new)

Shawna (endemictoearth) | 13 comments One of my all-time favorites! It's been a couple years since I've re-read, so this will be a good chance to revisit.

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 9 comments I haven't read The Blue Castle, though I am an Anne of Green Gables fan. Was this book mentioned by a celebrity or referenced in another piece of pop culture recently? I'm a librarian and there are holds on our physical and digital copies. When this happens with a book that isn't brand new, there's usually a specific reason (ie Fifty Shades had a resurgence at my library when the movie Book Club came out).

message 4: by Shawna (new)

Shawna (endemictoearth) | 13 comments I know Jasmine Guillory mentioned it on a morning show a few weeks ago. GMA or the Today Show...

message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 9 comments Shawna wrote: "I know Jasmine Guillory mentioned it on a morning show a few weeks ago. GMA or the Today Show..."

That's probably it. Thank you!

message 6: by Heather (new)

Heather | 43 comments I'm looking forward to reading this. I've only read the Anne series and have always wondered about her other books.

message 7: by Coral (new)

Coral (kiwicoral) | 27 comments This has been on my TBR for ages.

Does anyone have any suggestions on which Kindle edition to get? Annotated? Illustrated?

message 8: by Shawna (new)

Shawna (endemictoearth) | 13 comments Coral wrote: "This has been on my TBR for ages.

Does anyone have any suggestions on which Kindle edition to get? Annotated? Illustrated?"

I'd go with the cheapest. It looks like the annotated version is $0.99. There's also a full text version for free at Project Gutenberg Australia.

message 9: by Heather (last edited Apr 04, 2019 06:17AM) (new)

Heather | 43 comments I finished listening to the audiobook last night. Thanks to whomever suggested it!

I loved the sweet, charming, old-fashioned read. I wasn't sure about Valancy in the beginning, but it was lovely to watch her come into herself.

I'm pretty familiar with the Muskoka area so it was fun to picture the locations within the book. Especially Barney's island. There's something magical about those tiny islands that dot the northern Ontario lakes.

message 10: by Beate (new)

Beate | 8 comments On Project Gutenberg Australia epub and kindle versions are available as well.

The Bookstore Vixen  (thebookstorevixen) | 31 comments Oh, awesome! I love this book! I've read it a couple of times, but not for many years. I just happened to recently pick up a really pretty re-issued copy that came in at the used bookstore where I work. I'll have to give it another re-read now. This was always my favorite of her stand alone novels.

message 12: by Shawna (new)

Shawna (endemictoearth) | 13 comments This was my first time reading it on Kindle, and I made 57 highlights. Could have made more, but dannng, I really do love this book.

message 13: by Beate (new)

Beate | 8 comments I really loved the book.

I've never read or seen "Anne of Green Gables" - it's not that well known or popular in Germany, so I never stumbled upon it, when I was the right age. But now I'm curious to read more of that author.

message 14: by Koozebane (last edited Apr 25, 2019 05:57PM) (new)

Koozebane | 67 comments Finally re-read it over the past few days...I had forgotten how terrible Valancy's family could be. I wonder if writing her was cathartic for Montgomery, I hope it was. (Valancy's assertion that she wasn't going to church seemed especially symbolic, since Montgomery's minister husband was by all accounts an awful man. I wonder if Valancy's backtracking by attending the Presbyterian church instead was done to quiet potential controversy.)

message 15: by Shawna (new)

Shawna (endemictoearth) | 13 comments Yeah, I think that we need to see how truly miserable Valancy is, how very much she's been worn down, but not quite out. She needs to catalog every miserable thing in her miserable room that she wakes up in every miserable day.

But we also need to see that she still has a spark in her before she takes the job at Roaring Abel's (refusing to go to church, talking back at that anniversary dinner), because then we can truly believe that Barney would be attracted to her. It's a pretty deliberate process of self-determination, but it's all set off by thinking she's going to die.

I also love how L.M. Montgomery is like, "Okay, I can't actually talk about them having the sex, but I'm going to wink like HELL at the reader."

And the way her year on Mistawis is written, lyrical poetic blocks of text, like pages on a calendar in a dream she can't believe is real. (And when she quotes a big whacking passage of John Foster to Barney, and he's like "I'm sure you feel better having gotten that out of your system." *looks to the camera* LOL)

I know the ending is too much to believe, every thread being tied up neatly, but I don't CARE. It's just so lovely every time. And Valancy only believing Barney cares when he gets angry . . . *sighs dreamily*

(Also, has anyone ever read the ripoff version by Colleen McCullough? It was real bad, and she claimed any similarity was "unconscious". *side eye*)

message 16: by Jocelyn (new)

Jocelyn Adler | 3 comments This is my favorite L.M. Montgomery book - there are so many things she calls out in there that I still think about on a regular basis. I have to admit that on a re-read, I realized it's given me a little bit of a complex about showing my gums when I smile. I had a real "Oh, Hey, that's where I got that from!" moment.

The Bookstore Vixen  (thebookstorevixen) | 31 comments I really enjoyed my re-read of this one. I don't believe I've read it since I was maybe 20-something? As a 41 year old now, I totally felt this stood the test of time for me. I do love the baby steps in Valancy's rebellion. I love all of Barney's resistance to listening to her recitations of her favorite author (haha!). There was one or two things that just pricked at sore spots due to my life over the past few years or so, and I really had to just put them out of my head so they didn't spoil my enjoyment. Their total immersion into nature and flowers, and seeming to do little to no work whatsoever reminded me of a slothful couple I know and loath, so I really had to get past that part.

This one, Kilmeny of the Orchard, and the Emily of New Moon books were always my favorites of hers, and now I want to go do a re-read of all of them!

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