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The Blue Castle

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An unforgettable story of courage and romance. Will Valancy Stirling ever escape her strict family and find true love?

Valancy Stirling is 29, unmarried, and has never been in love. Living with her overbearing mother and meddlesome aunt, she finds her only consolation in the "forbidden" books of John Foster and her daydreams of the Blue Castle--a place where all her dreams come true and she can be who she truly wants to be. After getting shocking news from the doctor, she rebels against her family and discovers a surprising new world, full of love and adventures far beyond her most secret dreams.

218 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1926

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About the author

L.M. Montgomery

1,876 books11.1k followers
Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author, best known for a series of novels beginning with Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908.

Montgomery was born at Clifton, Prince Edward Island, Nov. 30, 1874. She came to live at Leaskdale, north of Uxbridge Ontario, after her wedding with Rev. Ewen Macdonald on July 11, 1911. She had three children and wrote close to a dozen books while she was living in the Leaskdale Manse before the family moved to Norval, Ontario in 1926. She died in Toronto April 24, 1942 and was buried at Cavendish, Prince Edward Island.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,247 reviews
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
November 30, 2019
If you think your relatives argue too much over Sunday dinner or are just impossible to live with
try Valancy Stirling's family.

Written in 1926 by the author of the beloved Anne of Green Gables series, this is the story of Valancy, a 29 year old timid mouse of a person, considered an old maid by her family and the town generally. She does what everyone asks even when she hates it, quails before her insolent relatives, never talks back (except in her own mind), cries herself to sleep on a regular basis, and overall lives a thoroughly miserable life. Her only solace is the imaginary Blue Castle she lives in when she daydreams, and the poetic nature books of John Foster, which speak to her heart.

One day Valancy, without telling her family, sneaks off to the doctor to find out why her heart has been bothering her. The doctor examines her, but rushes off in an emergency before he can give her a diagnosis. The letter she gets a day or two later from the doctor informs her that she has a severe heart condition, and less than a year to live.

Oddly enough, this death sentence frees Valancy from her miserable existence. With nothing to lose, she starts sassing her ice-cold mother and relatives, begins wearing "unsuitable" clothing, moves out of the family home, and generally starts doing what she wants to without a thought for propriety. It's lovely to see her bloom and gain confidence, and begin to seek out happiness and love on her own terms. And eventually (I won't spoil the story by going into the hows and whys) she finds a home in a cottage by the lake that reminds her of her beloved Blue Castle.


This really is an old-fashioned, romantic "wish fulfillment" type of tale, and you have to just appreciate it for what it is. A few things kind of bothered me: You have to wade through a fair amount of misery in the beginning of the book before Valancy decides to grow a spine (I recommended this book to my mother, and she texted me for two days whining about the first part and asking me if I was certain she was going to like this book). The plot is also pretty transparent: there are a couple of . . . developments (I can't really call them twists) that I could see coming from almost the very beginning of the book. But the lyrical, loving descriptions of the beauties of nature, a sweet romance and the witty humor touched my heart and won me over. Forget whatever shortcomings there are and just enjoy the ride.

If you like Anne of Green Gables and other old-fashioned books, you'll probably love this one. And you might pick up a few handy insults to use with your relatives when they get insufferable.

4.5 stars.
Profile Image for Hannah.
797 reviews
September 15, 2020
I arrived late to the L.M. Montgomery party, not having grown up with her stories as a young girl, but rather read them for the first time in my late 20's. Knowing what I know now about the beauty and magic of her books, I realize I missed out of some major reading adventures with Anne, Emily, Pat and gang, and will consequently never be able to wax nostalgic about how those books effected my life (which is probably for the best, as I tend to go into sappy, melodramatic overdrive when I really love a book - you know it's true, my GR friends) :P

But in the case of The Blue Castle, it's a good thing I didn't pick this up to read until I was about the age of Valency, because I don't think a younger girl would be able to fully appreciate this story as much a young woman who has lived a little. This is one of Montgomery's only books written with an adult audience in mind, and it wasn't highly acclaimed at the time of publication or for several decades afterwards. It definitely deals with more adult themes, and does so with a very sympathetic hand. I have since learned more about Montgomery's less-then-fairytale life, and it makes me appreciate her talents even more.

If Jane Austen's Persuasion is all about second chances in life, then Montgomery's The Blue Castle is all about allowing oneself to have a chance at all. Valancy's road to independence at the age of 29 is chock-full of convenient coincidences that happen in order for her (and the story) to blossom, but those plot contrivances thankfully don't lessen the appeal of the story. While the majority of the characters are one dimensional and make only a brief appearance, Montgomery perfectly captured the character of Valancy, her mother, Roaring Abel, Cissie, and Barney Snaith. And speaking of Barney Snaith, was there EVER a swoon-worthy hero with a more dumpy name in the history of fiction? Good grief, the man oozes sex appeal, but no reader ever brings him up in discussions of great fictional heros, and I am convinced it's because of his name. Think about it:

Gone with the Wind: Barney Butler....
Pride and Prejudice: Barney Darcy....
Twilight: Barney Cullen....

I rest my case.
November 6, 2022


Warning- This novel is endearing and filled with ardour to a dangerous level, that one can risk into crooning and canoodling with the novel throughout!
Nothing could put the 2 of us asunder! 😊
Reading this was like finding a niche in the middle of this gruesome reality!

Quick Plot Summary -

Trying to bring together all the broken pieces of life, coming out of the fear of living, after knowing she has only a year left to live (coz of a fatal heart disease), the 29-year old Valancy Stirling (labelled as an oldmaid) no longer cares about the society, and family members. In short, she decides to stop impressing others, and takes an avowal to start living for herself and experience what all she had dreamt till date for herself!
She wishes to experience being with the man of her dreams and be in her dream house, which she refers to as “The Blue Castle”. Taking the reins of her life in her hands, she decides to live, and be a priority and not an option any more. She finally takes control!!
Post coming out of the clutches of her domineering and imperious family, she lands into a job of a caretaker of one of her former schoolmates, Cissy(who is passing away due to consumption). While working, she develops closeness with Barney Snaith!
After Cissy passes away, Valancy asks Barney to marry her, while confessing that she is about to die soon! Agreeing on the proposal, he takes her to live on his island in the woods, which ofcourse Valancy calls as “The Blue Castle”.
Having spent over a year, her heart health improves, and finally the disease vanishes. In course of events, they realise that the diagnosis was erroneous, and she never had any heart problem. Finally, the family re-unites, and all live happily ever after! 😊


Epitome of Independence, and being true to one’s own identity, for traversing the path to true happiness, this novel defines adopting escapism vicariously to splinter the shackles of double society standards. Valancy’s family as a unit is metaphorical of this society, who constantly bullies Valancy, belittles and condescends her, and to escape the petrifying reality, Valancy builds her own “Blue Castle” in her dreams.

She is forever made to feel like an outsider, and is called a Doss! Blue castle, as an imaginary place, comes to her rescue, which she finally MANIFESTS!

An enthralling 4-stars for this book of novelty and prose, profusely laden with flora and fauna!

With an atmospheric and vibrant writing, it is an engaging, compelling, and an enjoyable read. Apt as a winter-read for the biting yet romantic season, to be accompanied with a hot cup of cocoa in hand!

From a stifling life to a vibrant life with her dream guy in her dream house, “The Blue castle” propounds about finding life and living it! 😊

Valancy, ultimately finds what she desired for, hope we too!

My fav part is the conversation between Barney and Valancy, which encapsulates the essence of the novel (with teary and smiling eyes 😊)-

"You see--I've never had any real life," she said. "I've just--breathed. Every door has always been shut to me."

My heart almost skipped a beat, when I went through the following lines (These are my favorite lines, I have ever read)-

"Isn't it better to have your heart broken than to have it wither up?" queried Valancy. "Before it could be broken it must have felt something splendid. That would be worth the pain."

Few other notable ones-

"John Foster says," quoted Valancy, "'If you can sit in silence with a person for half an hour and yet be entirely comfortable, you and that person can be friends. If you cannot, friends you'll never be and you need not waste time in trying.'"

The epitome of LOVE-

After the meal was over they would sit there and talk for hours--or sit and say nothing, in all the languages of the world, Barney pulling away at his pipe, Valancy dreaming idly and deliciously, gazing at the far-off hills beyond…

The epitome of ROMANCE-

"Not lovelier. But a different kind of loveliness. There are so many kinds of loveliness. Valancy, before this year you've spent all your life in ugliness. You know nothing of the beauty of the world. We'll climb mountains--hunt for 192 treasures in the bazaars of Samarcand--search out the magic of east and west--run hand in hand to the rim of the world. I want to show you it all--see it again through your eyes. Girl, there are a million things I want to show you--do with you--say to you. It will take a lifetime. And we must see about that picture by Tierney, after all."

A laudable work by LM Montogomery, not set on Prince Edward Island, like all her other works! 😊

Nb- I have docked a star, wishing if Barney Snaith was introduced earlier, or the romance quotient, was increased a tad more. This is a plea from a die-heart romantic like me!! :P
Profile Image for Nicole.
512 reviews14.3k followers
December 24, 2022
2020: 4/5
2022: 5/5 Sięgnęłam po inne tłumaczenie (nieskrócone wydanie) i UWIELBIAM!
Profile Image for Alexis Hall.
Author 51 books11.7k followers
November 8, 2020
Hello one of my favourite books of all time, recently re-read to get me through what was a fairly stressful week, even for someone an ocean-away from the stress epicentre.

The Blue Castle just a goddamn fucking balm. Always.

The heroine, Valancy Stirling (my stars, what a name), is unmarried and twenty-something at a time when being unmarried twenty-something means your life is a total waste. Her family are repressive and awful beyond belief. Then she receives the news that she has a fatal heart condition and will die within a year.

Queue Valancy Now-Voyagering out and deciding to spend her last year actually living. Sliding down bannisters. Trying to shape for herself a life that actually makes her happy. Telling her awful family exactly what she thinks of them. And, as it happens, impulsively marrying a mysterious, wood-dwelling man called Barney Snaith (my stars, what a name in A BAD WAY). It’s kind of a pity-fuck marriage in the sense that Valancy is in love with him and Barney is trying to be a good person. But they move into his cottage on an island and proceed to be very, very happy together.

There’s some HIGHLY DRAMATIC twists and revelations in the final third which should dbe too pat, too perfect but … are actually just right for the story. Needless to say, spoilers ho, Valancy doesn’t die. Barney does fall in love with her. The blue castle—Valancy’s metaphor for her happiness—is real.

What I love about this book is that its simultaneously sweet as pie and sharp as fuck. The scene where Valancy lays the almighty smackdown on her family is worth the price of admission alone. But, in general, it’s full of hope, optimism, whimsy and the beauty of things both big and small. The other thing I’m kind of very here for is Valancy’s commitment to her own happiness. She’s not ambitious, she longs for romance, she doesn’t want to change THE world, just HER world. I think it’s fairly rarely to find a protagonist who is allowed to have such personal goals. Rare still that she allowed to achieve them.

Read this book when you need to be reminded that love is important, your own happiness is worth striving for, ambition can begin and end with yourself, and sometimes you just gotta tell vile people exactly what you think of them.
Profile Image for Kate.
119 reviews1 follower
May 24, 2007
An independent story from the author of Anne of Green Gables, written for an older audience. An important and underrated part of the Montgomery collection -- in this story, a young woman (young by our standards, an old maid in her time) rebels against her oppressive family and a conservative society to achieve a few basic but essential moments of happiness. On the surface this may look like flowers and fluff but, for the time, this was a subversively pre-feminist novel. Valancy becomes psychologically and sexually independent, finds her own voice and claims a corner of the world (and its scruffy male inhabitant) for herself. This book had a big impact on me in college, and is still important as realistic fantasy for women living in strict conservative societies (patriarchal Japan, for example). Montgomery's work is constantly under-estimated, and the way the books are marketed doesn't help (the flowery script, the swoony illustrations). There are many layers at work in her stories, and some pioneering feminist concepts tucked in between the deep appreciation of nature, the commentary on the stuffy contemporary society of her day, and the delightful, well-drawn characters.
Profile Image for Piyangie.
530 reviews489 followers
April 1, 2022
When I came across The Blue Castle a few years ago, I thought it was merely a young adult romance. I don't read romance novels now. I've read them enough for a lifetime when I was a young adult myself. :) But recently when it came to my notice again, I thought I'll give it a try. I told myself that I would endure it because it was a work of L.M. Montgomery and because my bookshelf is in want of Canadian literature. The first few chapters, however, were enough to set me straight. This wasn't a romance novel. Of course, it has romance but the story goes deeper than that. I was pleasantly surprised and a tad bit annoyed for judging a book too hastily by its cover.

The Blue Castle is a story of courage, of finding one's inner strength to fight fear, of standing up to family bullying and oppression, of finding life and living it on one's own terms, and finally of healing with the help of nature and love. The story is simple, perhaps too simple, but that didn't in any way impede the strong message of hope that is conveyed. In the present trying times, there are moments that our courage fails us when we lose hope that there could be better times ahead for us. In these moments of despair, Valancy Sterling gives us hope to journey through life amidst many adversaries.

What this simple story with its powerful message did to me is beyond the power of any word. I both laughed and cried over it. It is very rare in a book to arouse emotions of opposite poles. It also transported me away from this burdensome reality, and away from this mundane life and the claustrophobic surroundings into the magical realm of nature with its breathtaking lake views, the wilderness of the woods, and the pleasant atmosphere of peace and quiet and oneness. Sometimes books have the healing power which none other has. It uplifts your spirits and makes you more optimistic. The Blue Castle falls into that lot. Perhaps it is my present mood that makes me feel so strongly about this book, but honestly, I loved it. I feel I read it at the right moment when I needed to be reminded that despite the present chaos around you there is hope yet for better and happier times.
Profile Image for Melindam.
665 reviews294 followers
August 27, 2023
Escapism at its best. This was my very first book by L.M. Montgomery and I loved it!

I guess there's hardly anyone who doesn't entertain a wishful thinking of "Just-Getting-Away-From-It-All" time and again especially during this time of crisis and quarantine!
Woods, water, pure air, a lovely cabin, no demands from society or from tiresome family members., experiencing the change of seasons on your doorstep, BLISS, right?


And 29-year-old Valancy Stirling, the long-suffering grey-mouse and overlooked old-maid of the Clan Stirling has all the reasons in the world to try to escape into a fantasy world of her own.

“Valancy herself had never quite relinquished a certain pitiful, shamed, little hope that Romance would come her way yet—never, until this wet, horrible morning, when she wakened to the fact that she was twenty-nine and unsought by any man. Ay, there lay the sting. Valancy did not mind so much being an old maid. After all, she thought, being an old maid couldn’t possibly be as dreadful as being married to an Uncle Wellignton or an Uncle Benjamin, or even an Uncle Herbert. What hurt her was that she had never had a chance to be anything but an old maid.”

If you think Fanny Price is lonely, downtrodden and has a hard time of it, away from her Family, among her relatives in Mansfield Park, you ain't seen nothin'. Clan Stirling can give a run for their money to all them Bertrams and Mrs Norris any time and teach a thing or two about how to make someone feel like a nonentity.


PLUS, believe it or not, Valancy may very well be even more shy and quavering than Fanny.

“The only thing she really enjoyed was a funeral. You knew where you were with a corpse. Nothing more could happen to it. But while there was life there was fear.”


She has no love, no prospects, no hope things will get any better. The only consolation she has is her fantasy place, which she calls The Blue Castle, and occasionally reading the books of John Foster on nature, though even something like reading is frowned upon by her mother, who considers this -as most things in life having anything to do with joy and happiness- a sin.

It is quite a turn up for the books when Valancy (after much hesitation and further quavering she decides to sneak off to the local doctor her family disapproves of, because she has some alarming chest pains) finds out from the doctor that she has only a year to live. This has all the deliberating effect on the girl she and the readers could wish for and the first time in her life, Valancy starts to live and shakes off all the terrifying people, things and conventions as well as her fears that kept her shackled to a life of misery.

“Rebellion flamed up in her soul as the dark hours passed by – not because she had no future but because she had no past.”

She finds friendship, love and peace and her Perfect Blue Castle and ..... - I don't think I need to put this under a spoiler tag, because you can all see it coming from almost the very beginning - things just turn out all right at the end.

Profile Image for Rowena.
501 reviews2,516 followers
January 19, 2022
"Valancy had lived spiritually in the Blue Castle ever since she could remember. She had been a very tiny child when she found herself possessed of it. Always, when she shut her eyes, she could see it plainly, with its turrets and banners on the pine-clad mountain height, wrapped in its faint, blue loveliness, against the sunset skies of a fair and unknown land. Everything wonderful and beautiful was in that castle. Jewels that queens might have worn; robes of moonlight and fire; couches of roses and gold; long flights of shallow marble steps, with great, white urns, and with slender, mist-clad maidens going up and down them; courts, marble-pillared, where shimmering fountains fell and nightingales sang among the myrtles; halls of mirrors that reflected only handsome knights and lovely women--herself the loveliest of all, for whose glance men died. All that supported her through the boredom of her days was the hope of going on a dream spree at night. Most, if not all, of the Stirlings would have died of horror if they had known half the things Valancy did in her Blue Castle."- Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Blue Castle

This is the sort of book that makes me so glad to be a reader. Montgomery is an EXTREMELY talented and beautiful writer. Recently I've been finding myself wanting to read more of her work because it's honestly like a balm. There's a feeling I would get very often as a child when I was discovering the world of literature and everything was fresh and new; it's a feeling that as an adult I rarely get close to reliving, but in this book I did see some glimmers of it.

I'd never read any Montgomery books outside of the Anne series and anyone who's read those books knows how special they are. This story took me back to my preteens in Africa when I was first introduced to Anne by my aunt who then lived in the Maritimes (Nova Scotia). Now that Canada is my home, and because I've visited Prince Edward Island, Montgomery's beloved home, I have to say I feel even more attached to Montgomery now, knowing first-hand where she got much of her inspiration from.

This is the story of 29-year-old spinster, Valancy Stirling, the old-fashioned and archaic word for single woman being used because those were conservative times where a woman who was single after a certain age was considered to be a loser. As the book said, "She was twenty-nine, lonely, undesired, ill-favoured--the only homely girl in a handsome clan, with no past and no future." Our heroine is single, miserable, and part of a large clan where she sees herself as invisible, has a lot of fear, has no friends, and has never really known happiness in her life. In her sad existence, all she has is her blue castle: her imagination. A pivotal experience in her life (no spoilers), however, changes her life forever.

I loved the new Valancy; I fully support women who have thrown off their shackles, decided enough is enough, and have decided to live authentically. Recently I've been reading a lot of feminist texts that have reminded me what this empowerment means and just how important it is. Rereading Audre Lorde and rediscovering her famous quote, "My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you", made me think of how apt it was in Valancy's case, and how life-giving it is when we realize that we can totally be free:

"'I've been trying to please other people all my life and failed,' she said. 'After this I shall please myself. I shall never pretend anything again. I've breathed an atmosphere of fibs and pretences and evasions all my life. What a luxury it will be to tell the truth! I may not be able to do much that I want to do but I won't do another thing that I don't want to do. Mother can pout for weeks--I shan't worry over it. 'Despair is a free man--hope is a slave'"

The freedom and life that Valancy experiences after the big turning point in her life warmed my heart. And it made me laugh to read how Valancy's relatives thought she had gone mad because of course free-thinking women have clearly lost it.

What I also adored about this book was Montgomery's veneration of nature. Although the book is set near Muskoka, Ontario, Montgomery got her nature-writing muse from PEI which is, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful places in Canada. Montgomery's descriptions of nature makes you want to be in it:

“...the woods, when they give at all, give unstintedly, and hold nothing back from their true worshippers. We must go to them lovingly, humbly, patiently, watchfully, and we shall learn what poignant loveliness lurks in the wild places and silent intervales, lying under starshine and sunset, what cadences of unearthly music are harped on aged pine boughs or crooned in copses of fir, what delicate savours exhale from mosses and ferns in sunny corners or on damp brooklands, what dreams and myths and legends of an older time haunt them. Then the immortal heart of the woods will beat against ours and its subtle life will steal into our veins and make us its own forever, so that no matter where we go or how widely we wander we shall yet be drawn back to the forest to find our most enduring kinship.”

Highly recommended! One of my favourite reads of the year <3
Profile Image for Behin.
75 reviews25 followers
June 23, 2022
قصر آبی بی شک یکی از قشنگترین کتاباییه که خوندم😍
این لامصب همه چیزش قشنگ بود و آدم واقعا احساس همدردی میکرد، چیزی که عجیب بود اینه که عموی ولنسی به طرز فجیعی مثل عموی منه😑واقعا سخته خندیدن به جوکایی که اصلا جوک نیستن و من اینو از اعماق وجودم درک میکنم😂
خیلیییی برام جالب و جذاب بود این کتاب، واقعا چیزی بود که احتیاج داشتم😍
همین دیگه، در وصف شاهکار بودن این کتاب چیزی نمیگم چون واقعا نمیشه حسمو با کلمات توصیف کنم🗿
پ.ن: از آموزه های این کتاب در زندگی واقعیمم استفاده کردم:)
یه آموزشگاه تیزهوشان طور که سالای قبل میرفتم(😑، دیگه سبک زندگیمو عوض کردم) زنگ زد که آره بهین امسالم بیا کلاسای تیزهوشانی،یعنی باور کنین حدود ۲۰۰ باره دارن زنگ میزنن هر دفعم مامانم با آرامش بهشون میگه که نه دیگه بهین نمیاد، دیروز وقتی داشتم اینو میخوندم زنگ زدن منم گوشیو از دست مامانم گرفتم گفتم ممنون میشم دیگه زنگ نزنین، بسه دیگه!!😂
Profile Image for Shaghayegh.
43 reviews6 followers
December 3, 2021
چقدر قشنگ می‌شد اگه عشق به موقع به سراغ هر آدمی می اومد^‿^
والنسی عزیزم ، حالا که داستانت رو به پایان رسوندم ، قطعاً دلم برات تنگ میشه ؛ تو درست میگی ، زندگی رو باید زندگی کرد ، از اینکه یادم دادی جسور بودن چه شکلیه ، ازت متشکرم. به نظرم همه ی ما تو زندگی به یک بوته ی گل رز نیاز داریم که گل نده ، اونوقت ما هم مجبور میشیم تیکه تیکه اش کنیم تا یادش بیاد باید زندگی کنه.
( من این کتاب رو از نشر افق و با ترجمه خانم حاجی علیرضا خوندم)
Profile Image for Sarvenaz.
118 reviews6 followers
August 8, 2022
فوق العاده زیبا بود🥲🥲
مونتگمری توی این کتاب خط بطلان می‌کشه بر کلیشه‌هایی که توی اون زمان بوده و این حرکتش خیلی زیاد قشنگ بود واسم.
دختر داستان صبر نمیکنه تا کسی بياد و نجاتش بده خودش، خودش رو نجات میده.
این کتاب از اون دسته کتاباست واسم که هرچند وقت یبار باید دوباره بخونمش و لذت ببرم از قلم زیبای مونتگمری.
پ.ن: خوندنش همراه با گوش کردن به آهنگ خواب ستاره عارف عجیب خیلی خوب بود.
به کسایی که اهل کتابای کلاسیک هستن حتما توصیه‌اش میکنم.
Profile Image for Bahar.
87 reviews41 followers
May 20, 2022
به به چه کتابی، انقد خوب بود که یه روزه تمومش کردم و واقعا لذت بردم، مثل "آنی شرلی" دوست داشتنی و صمیمی بود، البته من فقط "آنی شرلی" رو در قالب تصویر دیدم کتابش رو نخوندم، ای کاش فیلم اینم ساخته می‌شد، هر چی تصور می‌کنم خیلی کار عالی ای از آب در میومد، عجیبه که تا الان نساختنش:(
September 21, 2010
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.
Profile Image for Mina.
91 reviews78 followers
October 1, 2021
معمولا همه با خوندن آنشرلی شروع به خوندن کتابای مونتگمری‌ می‌کنند اما قصر آبی همیشه بیشتر برای من دلبری می‌کرد برای همین اومدم سراغ این بزرگوار.👀 به شدت زیبا، دوست داشتنی،گوگولی، بامزه و روون بود!
من اهل خوندن توصیفات نیستم معمولا هم دقتی نمی‌کنم اما مهارت نویسنده توی توصیفات به چشمم اومد. واقعا فضاسازی کتاب خوبه و حس قشنگی رو منتقل می‌کنه.
همراهی با شخصیت‌ها حتی اونایی که یکم روی مخ آدم پیاده روی می‌کنند لذت‌بخشه و آدم دوست داره بیشتر ازشون بخونه. از همین‌جا سلام می‌کنم به دوتا از شخصیت‌های موردعلاقه‌م، ولنسی و بارنی عزیز.😄 آقا خیلی چاکریم.🖐🏻
از همه‌ی توصیفات و شخصیت‌پردازی و اینا بگذریم، کتاب داستان خیلی جذابی داره و آدم رو مشتاق می‌کنه تا به خوندن ادامه بده و ببینه چه اتفاق‌هایی در راهه.👀
کتاب رو هردو نشر قدیانی و افق منتشر کردند و من نمی‌دونم کدوم واقعا ترجمه‌ی بهتری داره. فقط اینجا یه مشکلی هست. خلاصه‌ی پشت کتاب افق به اندازه‌ای که باید آدم رو جذب نمی‌کنه از طرفی خلاصه‌ی پشت کتاب قدیانی زیادی از داستان ‌می‌گه.😐😂 نظر من اینه که چشم بسته کتاب رو بخرید و بخونید.😂
نمی‌خوام حرف‌های اضافه بزنم و وقتتون رو بگیرم. خلاصه و سر راست بهتون می‌گم داستان جذاب، شخصیت‌های بامزه و دوست‌داشتنی و فضازسازی زیبا خوندن این کتاب رو واجب می‌کنه و همچنین فکر می‌کنم اگر قصد دارید وارد دنیای کلاسیک بشید این کتاب می‌تونه انتخاب مناسبی باشه.
امیدوارم لذت ببرید.💚
پ.ن. قصر آبی خودتون رو پیدا کنید!✨💙😢
Profile Image for Sana.
108 reviews61 followers
December 11, 2022
خیلی خیلی قشنگ بود.
توصیفات و شخصیت‌ها عالی بودن. تعریف این کتاب رو خیلی شنیده بودم و انتظار نداشتم اینقدر قشنگ باشه
بشدت پیشنهادش میکنم.
Profile Image for °•.Melina°•..
151 reviews96 followers
December 16, 2022
اگر لوسی مونتگمری میدونست که ۹۶ سال بعد یکی چقدر داره از خوندن این کتابش لذت میبره و احساسات مشابهی رو تجربه میکنه احتمالا خیلی به زندگیش امیدوارتر میشد.‌.

شاید اگر تو هر دوره‌ی دیگه‌ای از زندگیم این کتابو میخوندم به اندازه‌ی الان برام معنی‌دار و قابل لمس نبود.اینکه تو زمان درست کتاب درست رو پیدا کنی یه خوش‌شانسیه کم‌یاب تو مسیر کتابخونی و زندگیته.چون به شدت برات به یادموندنی میشه.

شش هفت سال پیش روحیه‌ی خودمو تو روحیه‌ی انی‌شرلی پیدا کردم،پارسال این موقع هم که زندگیم با زندگی امیلی همزادپنداری میکرد و دفترخاطرات خود مونتگمری هم که عمیقا به وجودم رخنه کرد و حس کردم اون واقعا روح همزاد قدیمیه منه.و امسال هم که ولنسی.
کلا انگار هر تابستون ملودی زندگیم با کتابای مونتگمری هماهنگ میشه.

این کتابو وسط دشت و تپه‌های تابستونی و درختای بلند سبز و نارنجی و برکه‌های چندصدساله خوندم و تنها کسی که راز دلمو درک میکرد ولنسی بود چون خودش هم داشت همین مسیرو میرفت.

چیز بیشتری نمیتونم بگم که داستان کتاب یا خودمو اسپویل کنم،فقط اینکه خیلی شیرین بود:">
Profile Image for Setayeshmor.
45 reviews23 followers
July 7, 2022
دارم واسه بار ششم یا هفتم میخونمش و پیشاپیش بهش ۵ ستاره میدم چون یک میلیون ستاره ام کمه واسش‌.
به معنی واقعی کلمه ی اثر هنریه و تنها کتابیه که در حال حاضر می‌تونه منو از اسلامپ خارج کنه و عامل حال خوبه🦎
Profile Image for Ali Mohebianfar.
187 reviews126 followers
January 15, 2022
مثل تمام کارهای مونتگمری، زیبا و رویایی💙
همیشه گفتم و باز هم می گم، کتاب های مونتگمری آکادمی آموزش نویسندگی هستن!
شخصیت پردازی درست و به یاد موندنی، توصیفاتی که خواننده رو به دل قصه می کشونه، دیالوگ هایی با رگه هایی از طنز ظریف و دلچسب...
خدای من. قلم این زن شاهکاره!
قصر آبی هم مثل تموم کارهاش جزوی از زیباترین تجربیات من در کتابخوانی شد.
شخصیت شجاع و سرکش ولنسی استرلینگ در کنار اسکارلت اوهارا و الیزابت بنت، می تونه جزو قوی ترین کرکترهای زن رمان های کلاسیک باشه! زنی که تابوهای زمانه خودش رو می شکنه و همونجوری که می خواد، زندگی می کنه.
و در کنار ولنسی شیطون و دوست داشتنی، بارنی، خانم فردریک و دخترعمه استیکلز، عمو بنجمین و همه و همه و همه کرکترهای دیگه، مثل تموم شخصیت های رمان های مونتگمری، پیش چشمم جون گرفتن و تا ابد جزوی از حافظه ذهن و قلبم شدن! و چقد به واسطه این شخصیت های جذاب سر یسری صحنه های رمان خندیدم و حالم خوب شد!
این رمان در واقع سه تا پلات توییست در «تقریبا» پنجاه صفحه آخر داشت که من دو تاش رو از نیمه های کتاب حدس زده بودم، با اینحال این هیچی از جذابیت های قصه برای من کم نکرد.
مونتگمری برای من تکرارنشدنی بوده و هست و خواهد بود. این رمانش رو هم بی نهایت دوست داشتم.
Profile Image for Loretta.
319 reviews162 followers
December 1, 2020
I really wasn’t expecting much from this author since I’m probably one of the few people on the face of the planet who really didn’t enjoy Anne of Green Gables. Color me very much surprised!

What an incredibly delightful book! I never wanted it to end! A must read for all! Five gigantic ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️‘s!
Profile Image for Anne.
502 reviews508 followers
December 1, 2014
Once upon a time...

there lived a beautiful young woman named Valancy Stirling. She was tall, with black raven hair, large brown slanted eyes, and pale, white skin that gleamed in the moonlight and gave her an ethereal, dreamlike appearance.

Valancy was the mistress of the Blue Castle in Spain; a big, imposing, majestic structure of elegance and grandness, resplendent in blue. "Everything wonderful and beautiful was in that castle."

She had everything she wanted, from glamorous jewels to gorgeous dresses, and plenty of fun, adventure, and romance. Valancy had a prince too, of course. A red-haired and blue-eyed mysterious hero, with a twisted grin, unkempt appearance and kind, amiable ways. With him she was happier than she'd ever dreamed was possible. He was everything her heart had always desired and more.

One of her favourite escapes, too, was reading John Foster's nature books, which truly freed her soul and let her marvel and wonder over nature's beautiful gifts. With John Foster, one felt such a oneness with nature and a satisfying sense of well-being that it was impossible to resist dreaming.

One letter. It was all it took. One letter from Dr. Trent to Valancy, telling her she was dying of heart disease was enough to make her break free from the miserable, predictable and insupportable pattern of her life, and start living her own.

In her Blue Castle.

With her prince.

And she lived happily ever after.

Spoilers section:

Profile Image for Quirkyreader.
1,540 reviews43 followers
September 2, 2018
This book made me cry. And it is very rare when a story makes me cry.

This is one of Montgomery’s lesser know stories in The States. It got a reprint Stateside during the “Anne Mania” after PBS broadcasted the Canadian mini series.

And the premis of the story goes like this, Possible Spoilers.......

If you were told you only had a year to live, what would you do? And the main character crams in many things during that year. Which makes this book a fabulous adventure.

Even though it has its sad parts, this book can help inspire one to do great things.
Profile Image for Crystal.
1,365 reviews52 followers
December 30, 2012
This is my favorite novel by LM Montgomery, even though it's not necessarily typical of her books. It is the sweetest romance I have ever read, full of laugh out loud moments and obnoxious "villains". In fact, this book's annoying characters are on a par with Jane Austen's best. it's a great story of learning to be free of society's bonds and expectations, of finding love when and where least expected, and of the joys that come when you open your heart to them. I completely recommend this book. It may be my favorite ever novel--definitely in the top 10.
Profile Image for Fatemeh Bahrami.
128 reviews63 followers
September 2, 2022
تو بی‌نقص نیستی، ولی قلبم رو مال خودت کردی. :)
مخصوصا با وجود بارنیِ مهربون درون‌گرای دوست‌‌داشتنی‌ت! ⁦ಥ‿ಥ⁩
Profile Image for Zahra P.
54 reviews10 followers
July 14, 2022
چقد خوندنش چسبید بهم. چقد با کلیشه های مرسوم رمانهای کلاسیک_ عاشقانه فرق داشت.
December 4, 2017

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🌟 I read this for the Yule Bingo Challenge, for the category of Malfoy: Character you love to hate. For more info on this challenge, click here. 🌟

Oh man, this was just the palate cleanser I needed after all those crazy bodice ripper romances. L.M. Montgomery, author of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES fame, brings to the table something wickedly funny and wholesomely real with THE BLUE CASTLE: a story of a bitterly unhappy girl who learns to discover her true self in the face of a terrible tragedy.

The plot actually reminded me of the 2006 film, Last Holiday, starring Queen Latifah, and I couldn't help but wonder if Last Holiday was in some part inspired by THE BLUE CASTLE. THE BLUE CASTLE is about a girl named Valancy who lives with a bitter and miserable family, mired in tradition and utterly consumed with ritual and what's "proper."

Valancy is kept under their thumb, abused, and mocked for being a twenty-nine-year-old spinster, but her unhappiness is also the glue that not only keeps her family united, but also rationalizes their own self-misery and unhappiness. It's an utterly toxic atmosphere, and it's no wonder that Valancy suffers anxiety attacks and depression, and cries herself to sleep at night as she reminisces over past injustices while also hoping for something more. Her two spots of solace in the world are books by an author named John Foster, who writes beautiful prose on the Canadian wilderness, and a fantasyland of her own imaginings: Blue Castle, where everything is beautiful and goes according to her wishes.

One day, Valancy visits a doctor about one of her "spells" and finds out that she has a fatal heart defect, and only has a year to live. She decides that she doesn't want to spend that last year miserable, and begins telling off her awful relatives and living a scandalous but thoroughly happy life that leaves her relatives reeling, and also, of course, bitterly envious of her daring and contentment.

This was a really great story. Is it realistic? No. But it has an emotional depth that is somewhat lacking in the earlier Anne novels - perhaps because this book is intended for an older audience. Valancy's depression is depicted with gritty realism, and I felt utterly sorry for her in the beginning. I also liked her sarcasm and bitter wit - she's not at all like Anne; she's much more sarcastic and cynical, and her repartee with her awful relatives cracked me up. That cynicism, in many ways, reminded me of the terrible family in COLD COMFORT FARM. I think THE BLUE CASTLE is written for a much more cynical audience who, like Valancy, hasn't quite given up hope...

If you're a fan of clean and older romances, you should definitely pick up THE BLUE CASTLE. It's only 99-cents right now, and the realness of it, as well as the charming and slow burn romance, were exactly what I needed to get me through this cold and chilly Sunday. Be prepared to laugh, and enjoy some of the most beautiful descriptions of nature you've ever seen. I even learned a new word: incarnadine.

4.5 stars
March 15, 2023
I must say, I enjoyed this a lot more than I had expected to. L.M. Montgomery has hit the nail on the head with this wonderful story. It had a little bit of everything I like, and most of all, a vibrant, headstrong individual. It was just a shame that it took a terminal diagnosis to essentially coax that life out of her.

Valency is nearing thirty years old and is unmarried. Back then, a woman would have a few eyebrows raised at her, because obviously, in order to function effectively, we absolutely need a male. She is described as having a rather miserable existence, largely unhappy and doing things daily that bore her. She has nothing to look forward to, except the fact she will wake up in the morning to do everything all over again. Her family constantly overlook her, considering her plain, expecting her to be and act like a proper lady, and despite her efforts to please them, her family still seem disappointed with her in some way. I think that would be enough for me to cause me to rebel.

I find Valency a relatable character, as I think many young women feel oppressed within their families, being expected to lock up their true selves in a cage in order to be someone they're not. I could see Valency had a wonderful sense of humour, a love for nature, the woods, the flowers and a keen eye for the beauty of the world itself. She appreciated what others took for granted. Her family noticed none of these things, as she was already labelled as an outsider, a bore and a hopeless case.

One day, she receives news that she has a terminal illness, and has just a year or so to live. This immediately transforms her entire perception on life, so can you guess what happens? She starts to live it. Valency starts being Valency, not the obeying dutiful daughter or woman who is ignored and shoved in the corner. She does things that she wants to do when she wants to do them, but best of all, she finally finds her voice that has been dormant for so long. The speaking of ones mind is an art that should be practiced daily. Pass it on.

"Rebellion flamed up in her soul as the dark hours passed by – not because she had no future but because she had no past."

Valency then takes us on an adventure to her beloved Blue Castle, a place in her dreams which she visits when life becomes too unbearable. A place of calm, comfort and beauty which she created, and that is what makes it so special. I think we all have a place like that, whether it be in our minds, or reality. My place of calm is the forest.

The character building was impressive. Montgomery managed to get the grating relatives just right, and I knew this because as I was reading their sections, I felt quite irritated! I also thought that Barney was portrayed well. He was a decent person, not some guy who waltzed in thinking he was some irresistible casanova. It was refreshing.

This was a beautiful read with some vividly real characters, unexpected humour and tinged with sadness. I feel like I needed this, and I'm glad I stumbled across it.
Profile Image for Sherwood Smith.
Author 150 books37.5k followers
June 8, 2020
Warning: spoilery talk ahead for this book that is nearly a century old.

I've heard this book disparaged as second-rate Montgomery, even as outright trash. And I can see the problematical aspects--the "bucket list" plot was already pretty worn out by the time LMM hung this story on it (protag is told they have only X time to live, which turns out to be a mistake, of course), and I could definitely do without the thread of the hapless young woman who has to die of Didn't Remain A Virgin Until Marriage disease, whom Valancy takes pity on first. LMM found it difficult to let go of a lot of tried-and-true Victorian plot devices, and it shows.

But those things aside, this is wish-fulfillment at its finest. It's one of my insomnia books--if my eyelids open with a spang! at 1:30 a.m. and I know it will be hours before I get back to sleep, if at all, this is one of the books I take off the shelf.

Montgomery had two strengths in my readerly view: a wonderful sensitivity to nature, which makes her descriptions of gardens, forests, etc, utterly delightful, and she came from a small town on an island, born of very strong-minded people. Quirky strong-minded people, as one discovers in her published diaries. So her creation of characters, especially distinctive, oddball relatives, is sheer delight. We know a lot of those relatives, like the cousin everyone holds up as a paragon of virtue, but who is a meanie when the adults aren't looking. And the uncle whose threadbare jokes were never funny the first 182 times he told them, especially when you're the target.

Valancy, the heroine (with that name, you just know that she thinks she's homely but she'll turn out to be secretly beautiful--to those with the right eyes to see her. Like the hero), lives under the thumb of as obnoxious a set of relatives as LMM ever invented. Oh boy is she downtrodden. There is not the tiniest detail of her miserable life that some relative or other isn't minding for her own good, and lecturing her endlessly about from the pinnacle of Mt. Moral Superiority.

Once Valancy gets her misdiagnosis and decides to cut loose, the fun really gets going. When she doesn't give a hoot about What People Think, she does it big time. It's sheer bliss watching her at her first horrible family dinner as a free woman.

Of course she ends up married to the man of her dreams, and is wildly wealthy to boot (back of the hand to the Mean Cousin) but how she gets there is a ton of fun.
Profile Image for nastya .
449 reviews288 followers
June 9, 2022
"Fear is the original sin," wrote John Foster. "Almost all the evil in the world has its origin in the fact that some one is afraid of something. It is a cold, slimy serpent coiling about you. It is horrible to live with fear; and it is of all things degrading."

Valancy recently turned 29, and her life is a disappointment. Nothing ever happens to her, she is disrespected, unnoticed by her judgmental family except for the times they make fun of her spinsterhood.

"Valancy got up, though she hated getting up more this morning than ever she had before. What was there to get up for? Another dreary day like all the days that had preceded it, full of meaningless little tasks, joyless and unimportant, that benefited nobody."

Understandably she's grumpy but powerless, until one day she has enough. Her doctor says she has a terminal heart disease and under a year to live, and she finally rebels, becomes independent and falls in love with an outsider in the process.
"I've been trying to please other people all my life and failed," she said. "After this I shall please myself. I shall never pretend anything again. I've breathed an atmosphere of fibs and pretences and evasions all my life. What a luxury it will be to tell the truth! I may not be able to do much that I want to do but I won't do another thing that I don't want to do. 'Despair is a free man—hope is a slave.'

What goes next is a sweet love and empowerment story, at least as much empowerment as women were expected to achieve in Canada in the 1920s when it was written.

"There is no such thing as freedom on earth," he said. "Only different kinds of bondages. And comparative bondages. You think you are free now because you've escaped from a peculiarly unbearable kind of bondage. But are you? You love me—that's a bondage."

"Who said or wrote that 'the prison unto which we doom ourselves no prison is'?" asked Valancy dreamily, clinging to his arm as they climbed up the rock steps.

"Ah, now you have it," said Barney. "That's all the freedom we can hope for—the freedom to choose our prison.

This is a re-read for me, since this year this book came into public domain and I celebrated it by downloading my copy from project gutenberg and enjoying myself so very much. It's a very fairy-talish romance with crazy coincidences and I enjoyed it immensely.
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