January 18, 2014

The Blue Castle, by L.M. Montgomery

For the past several years I have participated in the L.M. Montgomery Reading Challenge hosted by Carrie at Reading to Know (a great source for a books).  LMM is best known for the story of Anne of Green Gables and the books that follow in the series.  I was pleased to try another work of LMM this time around.  The Blue Castle is one of only two books LMM wrote for adult, and it was this month's reading choice.

The Blue Castle tells of Valancy, a 29 year old woman is still controlled by her family and treated as a child in a harsh environment.  They show no love to the poor woman which leaves Valancy lonely. She secretly goes to a doctor (not the family's doctor since he is family) to inquire about how she has been feeling.  Unfortunately, he diagnoses her with a life-threatening heart problem.

Health problems provided Valancy with courage.  Though she keeps the problems a secret from her family, she seeks employment (well below her family's status) to escape the loneliness and home problems.  Leaving home is when the
adventure begins.

This wasn't my favorite LMM book.  For the first time, I understood Carrie's comments about LMM's works being predictable.  More than that, I didn't really connect with Valancy as much as I have other characters from LMM.  Though her family did not show her love, she really didn't love them through her actions either.  Yet, I still enjoyed it.

In addition to The Blue Castle, this past year I also read Jane of Lantern Hill, Pat of Silverbush, and Mistress Pat, all by L.M. Montgomery.  They are all linked to my thoughts, but Pat of SB is the only complete review.

A note: The Blue Castle was first published in 1926.  I bought the edition pictured above from Amazon, because it was the only one that would arrive in time to read.  (Though I love my Kindle Fire, I don't prefer to read books on it...)  First, I have to say that I think the cover art is awful.  AWFUL.  I thought it was bad when I saw it on-line, but in person it's actually pixel-y.  Next, I was horribly disappointed that the publisher (lulu.com, a self-publisher...eek) did not make any mention of the original work.    Basically, the copyright page said the author's name and the year 2012 and nothing else!  (I can't say exactly what it says since I have already loaned the book to a friend.)  I find that rather apalling; I even wonder if it is legal.  The last thing I want to mention is that this edition of The Blue Castle was rather large, nearly 8x10-about twice the size of the other LMM books I have.  I actually enjoyed reading the larger size book.  The only problem is that it doesn't fit nicely on my bookcase with my other LMM titles.

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}
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7 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great book, I rarely take the time to read a book...still trying to get through 2012 magazines - lol!

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  2. Sounds interesting! I don't think I've ever it. Actually, besides the Anne series and Emily series I haven't read much more. Might have to pick up one next time I go to the library.

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    1. Deanna, I hope your library has it! Mine doesn't have much for LMM other than Anne. :(

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  3. I didn't like the book in the beginning, but I did by the end. It doesn't have the charm of the Anne books, but I'm glad to have read it.

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    1. I think I was disappointed after the first chapter, but I did enjoy it in the end! It did lack a bit of charm!

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  4. Looks like the Disney castle on the cover of that book. Does sound like a terrible edition of the book. I cant' stand ugly Montgomery book covers. I imagine she wouldn't be able to either.

    Glad you read along. I think it's interesting that this is the story that you found more predictable while most others are surprised by the twists and turns. :D It's really fun to hear everyone's impressions and thoughts on this title in particular, I think, because it's one of her more unique works.

    At any rate, glad you read along!

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  5. It sounds like your copy of the book was absolutely awful! Your comment on legality made me curious, so I did some poking - and it looks like The Blue Castle was originally copyrighted in 1926 and the copyright was renewed in 1954, which means it's under copyright until 2020. So, chances are, the entire printing is illegal. Fun stuff.

    I hadn't read The Blue Castle until now because my library didn't have it and I don't like buying books I don't already know I'll like - but I moved last year and my new library has a copy. I wouldn't say it's a favorite of mine, but I did enjoy reading it.

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