The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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 short to be hemmed and caged by others expectations. If you can't be happy with who you are, then what is the point of living? It took a life-changing event to get Valancy to see this, and I was glad she did.
The romance was lovely in this book. I liked how Valancy and Barney's relationship started and would always be built on their friendship. There was a deep, romantic love there, no doubt. But, the person that one chooses as their life partner needs to be one that they can be happy to be around, and comfortable enough to not feel the need to fill the silences, but to cherish them. They found a connection as soulmates through the doorway of respect for each other and friendship. A great way to start a great lifetime love, in my opinion.
The metaphor of the blue castle spoke to me. We all need a blue castle in our lives, a place where we can go to feel true happiness, a retreat away from the disappointments and expectations of the world, and others' judgments and requirements for us. As I read this book, I wondered where my blue castle was. I got the answer to that question, and it made me smile.
This book gave me some wonderful hours of entertainment, but also encouraged me to life my life to its fullest. In the end, the quiet, shy plain Valancy is a huge role model to readers who find themselves in a similar situation to hers. This is my first book by L.M. Montgomery, and I'm eager to read more of her.
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