The Blue Castle
written by L.M. Montgomery
218 pages, originally published in 1926
Valancy Stirling has lived a rather quiet life for almost 29 years. She has no exceptionally wonderful childhood memories, as others might. Her adult life didn't carry much happiness for her either. Just the day-in and day-out motions of living with her mother and cousin. Of course, the glaring fact exists that she's becoming an old maid and no young man has taken an interest to her.
"As far as she could look back, life was drab and colourless, with not one single crimson or purple spot anywhere. As far as she could look forward it seemed certain to be just the same until she was nothing but a solitary, little withered leaf clinging to a wintry bough." (Chapter I)"The Blue Castle" is the story of one young woman's breaking-out-of-a-shell moment. Far too long she had been pushed around, following commands kindly and precisely as requested, and continuously living without actually living.
The day of fateful decision lands on her 29th birthday. The day she finally decides to do something for herself, even if it does spring the first wedge she's ever had between herself and another person. As Valancy's daring acts increase, the relatives grow progressively surprised -- although deportment must always be sustained, even when disgraced and shocked by the words and actions of a young woman going "dippy". (This was my favorite part of the book, and I had many laughs over the dismayed reactions, and also at how steady that Valancy maintained her performances.)
"'Let us be calm,' said Uncle Benjamin. 'Let us be perfectly calm.'"(Chapter XV)Suffice it to say, Valancy does not "be perfectly calm" and continues in her newly found freedom from the gripping drabness that she had always simply existed in... My, what great things she accomplishes too!
This is such a fun, sweet piece of literature to read. I sped through the book so fast, because I just couldn't stop reading. L. M. Montgomery spoke so vividly to me through "The Blue Castle". It's a new favorite of mine, and I'll definitely have to read it again someday!