Pairing Books with Movies: The Blue Castle

Friday, April 19, 2013

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!


Sandy Nawrot said...

You are such a classic maven! I wish I had the perseverance to read more of them. While this one sounds a little like old-fashioned chick lit, it still sounds entertaining!

Anonymous said...

I love the book so much. It is, as you say, predictable, but I think that's part of the magic of it, you can relax and enjoy it at a leisurely pace. I keep being told to watch the Davis movie but didn't know what it was about. I'll have to follow the recommendations now!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Sandy - Old-fashioned chick lit, that's the perfect description!

Charlie - Yes, there's something comforting in knowing what you're going to get from the book. It was a lovely story.

Unknown said...

This is a great book! When asked for my favorite this is the one that I give. It is such a sweet story. I will have to check out Now, Voyager.Inspirefly

Bybee said...

I love Now, Voyager because of the cigarette thing. I don't smoke, but I would if someone like Paul Heinreid (sp?) was around!

Kat @ NoPageLeftBehind said...

Love The Blue Castle!! I'm definitely going to give Now, Voyager a try :)

Amy said...

I've been wanting to read this book for awhile. It sounds very different than the Anne or Emily series. And the Bette Davis movie sounds fun! I can't wait to check it out...

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Kimberly Hawks - You should! It's a great movie, especially if you already love Blue Castle.

Bybee- Ha, me too!

Kat - I actually saw Now, Voyager first and I was so struck by the similarities as I was reading the book.

Amy - I definitely think you'd like Blue Castle!