The Blue Castle
by L. M. Montgomery
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde
That is one of my favorite quotes and it explains this story perfectly. Valancy Jane Stirling is only 29, but she’s been relegated to the role of old spinster in her family. She has, as Wilde said, been existing, but not living. It’s not until she receives some startling news that she decides to change her lot in life.
It’s so satisfying when she finally starts standing up for herself, but it’s so sad that it takes such a dramatic twist to get her to break out of her shell. The book is really about having the courage to live the life you want. Valancy and Barney Snaith are both good characters. They both have to learn to trust someone else with their happiness, a difficult thing for anyone to do.
This is the first Montgomery book I’ve read outside of the Anne of Green Gables series. While I will say I love those books more, I still loved her writing style in this one. I had longer to get attached to the characters on Prince Edward Island than I did to those in this book.
BOTTOM LINE: The story is predictable but sweet. It’s the equivalent of a really good romantic comedy movie. So save it for when you’re in the mood for a charming tale.
"You made me believe again in the reality of friendship and love."
"Fear is the original sin. Almost all the evil in the world has its origin in the fact that some one is afraid of something."
“She, who had been afraid of almost everything in life, was not afraid of death.”
“People who don’t like cats always seem to think that there is some peculiar virtue in not liking them.”
Pair with a viewing of Now, Voyager. The 1942 Bette Davis movie is about an old maid who gets a second chance at life. Her visual transformation in the movie is particularly fun!