Vintage Sweet Delight Review: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Posted January 10, 2021 by Sophia Rose in Reviews, Sweet Delight / 20 Comments

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Vintage Sweet Delight Review: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
The Blue Castle

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Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Released on March 4, 2014
Pages: 256
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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The Delight

When a downtrodden woman reaches the age of twenty-nine with ordinary looks and not a prospect of matrimony in sight while being the butt of sly family jokes, she is given one year to live.  Valency has never actually lived so she determines to do so with humorous, heartwarming results.  It has been an age since I read any of LM Montgomery’s works and it was enchanting to return to her writing for a buddy read of The Blue Castle.

Review

Valency Stirling is twenty-nine and still living tightly under her mother’s thumb- and the rest of the Stirlings for that matter.  All joy has been pushed out of her life for dreary stark living, following strict social etiquette, following all the whims and dictates of her mother and her mother’s cousin, and looking like a dowd is all part of it.  It doesn’t help that her cousin Olive, a mere year younger, is everything that Valency isn’t from beauty, to social grace, to parents who lavish her with anything she wishes.  Valency would have succumbed long ago under such depressing misery, but she had her imaginary blue castle to escape to in her imagination and a little of that helps her see more than she thinks about those around her though she would be petrified to express this.

Then comes the visit to the doctor because she has been experiencing pain in her chest and shortness of breath.  She is given a year.  Suddenly, Valency is no longer afraid and she chucks her mouse-like demeanor and starts speaking her mind and stating her preferences while still doing her duty.  She determines to help an old school chum who has become a social pariah and she makes friends and more with people that leave her Stirling relations in a flutter.  But more than that, Valency comes to life and no longer needs her imaginary blue castle.  But it will all come to an end, she thinks.

The Blue Castles starts out telling of a dreary, drab life that sounds pitiful and sad, but then opens up into a beautiful, colorful zesty life that I was definitely envying.  Valency finds color, stars, fresh air, woodsy and lakeside delights, and love with a quirky man who she knows feels mere affection.  It is a gentle story full of humor and heartwarming moments.  Naturally there are some surprises by the end that left me grinning and so happy for Valency.

I think this is one of my favorite LM Montgomery stories and stacks up well next to the Anne of Green Gables world.  It’s lighter as far as the writing and is a quicker read, but all the natural world, engaging cast of characters and a genuine, sweet heroine are sparkling and I can definitely recommend it to those who want to get lost in a nostalgic world of the past.

Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #3
COYER Seasons #1 buddy read
Romance BINGO #3 woman in red dress on cover
Library Love #1

About the Book
THE BLUE CASTLE BY L.M. MONTGOMERYThe Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Valancy Stirling is 29 and has never been in love. She’s spent her entire life on a quiet little street in an ugly little house and never dared to contradict her domineering mother and her unforgiving aunt. But one day she receives a shocking, life-altering letter—and decides then and there that everything needs to change. For the first time in her life, she does exactly what she wants to and says exactly what she feels.

At first her family thinks she’s gone around the bend. But soon Valancy discovers more surprises and adventure than she ever thought possible. She also finds her one true love and the real-life version of the Blue Castle that she was sure only existed in her dreams…

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Christina Morland
3 months ago

I love this book! For some reason, I also think of Eva Ibbotson’s books for adults (The Morning Gift, Countess Below Stairs) when I think of The Blue Castle. I’m not sure why, as the heroines are very different in many ways. But there’s something about the whimsy and style of them that strike me as similar. Have you ever read Ibbotson? Anyway, thanks for the review of this book. Makes me want to go back reread… 🙂

Sophia Rose
3 months ago

I had not heard of Eva Ibbotson, but I will definitely be investigating her books. I know what you mean about a book having a feel of another even if the description is nothing alike. Yes, now I’m in a LMM re-read mood, too. 🙂

Rachel
3 months ago

I didn’t know Montgomery wrote anything else other than Anne of Green Gables. I hope Valancy had a happy ending! One year to live? Eeeek!

Sophia Rose
3 months ago
Reply to  Rachel

Oh yes, tons of good ones. 🙂 You really must try some.

Jen
Jen
3 months ago

This sounds like an interesting story. It’s not really something I would read, but it piques my interest. Thanks Sophia.

Sophia Rose
3 months ago
Reply to  Jen

Yes, they are definitely for a certain mood or appeal. But, so good. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

I’m glad you enjoyed this so much. The premise is delightful. Awesome review!

Sophia Rose
3 months ago

Yes, it is fun to go back to some of the classics like this one. Thanks, Anne!

Lover of Romance
3 months ago

Wow….its so neat to see that this author was able to implement a world of black and white to such a vibrant world of color. Glad to see you enjoyed it.

Great review.

Sophia Rose
3 months ago

Yes, it was very vivid writing. Such a lovely story.

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

I have not read LM Montgomery yet but I love the sound of this book. It sounds like it would be wonderful to see Valency come alive in this story.

Sophia Rose
3 months ago

You are in for a treat if you get to try her stuff, Carole.

Melliane
3 months ago

I’m not a big fan of the cover so I won”t have look closer I confess but it looks really good!

Sophia Rose
3 months ago
Reply to  Melliane

I prefer the old bantam paperback covers, but I learned there are a ton of covers for this one and some are quite odd. It’s a lovely and fun story, though. 🙂

Carole Rae
3 months ago

New to me! I am intrigued!

Sophia Rose
3 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Total Classic Gem! You must! 🙂

vvb
vvb
3 months ago

Lovely! Still have to read LM Montgomery. This will be one when I do.

Sophia Rose
3 months ago
Reply to  vvb

You’ll have a good time with it, Velvet!

Iza
Iza
2 months ago

I’ve only read the fist Anne of Green Gables by her but I definitely want to read more – I have the whole series on my kindle, that’s a start. Great review Sophia 🙂

Sophia Rose
2 months ago
Reply to  Iza

The first was definitely one of my favorite reads ever, but there are so many other fantastic LMM heroines to enjoy. Looks like you are all set with a stack of them when you get the chance, Iza. 🙂